Schumer and Democrat Senators Threaten Judicial Independence

RNLA Betty Murphy Award Winner Mike Davis and the Article III Project released a letter signed by conservative leaders in response to Senate Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s threats on Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh last week:

In a better world, this episode would mark the end of Chuck Schumer’s political career.  But even in America in 2020, it should be a permanent blot on Schumer’s record. We therefore strongly support a resolution to censure Schumer on the Senate floor.

George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley writes that Schumer’s comments and non-apology are part of a troubling pattern:

“I am from Brooklyn.” That statement made by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer was meant to excuse threats he has made against two conservative justices the day before on the steps of the Supreme Court. His “apology” seemed to be a mix of claiming a license for all New Yorkers to use “strong language” and claiming justification because some justices are “working hand in glove” with Republicans. This was like a bizarre road rage defense from a Brooklyn driver who apologizes for the situation but explains that it was all due to the lousy driving of the other guy.

The problem is that this the latest in a pattern of Democratic leaders attacking and threatening jurists if they rule the “wrong” way in certain cases. Although Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin advised the public “not to dwell” on the comments by Schumer, there is much more to dwell on than just this incident. Indeed, Democratic senators, including Durbin, have made threats against the Supreme Court and the judiciary.

As an example of this troubling pattern, Turley cites the recent brief filed in the Supreme Court by Democratic Senators written by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse:

Not long ago, Durbin joined Senators Mazie Hirono, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Richard Blumenthal in a brief written by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. The brief contained a raw threat that if the justices did not side with New York in a gun rights case, the senators would stack the court with new members. Whitehouse warned the court to “heal itself before the public demands” that it be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”

It is for these threats that the Wall Street Journal editorialized The Senate and the Judiciary, A Democratic Majority Threatens Judicial Independence:

The Senate Minority Leader has reminded the country of the threat that a Democratic Senate poses to judicial independence.

We could not agree more.