Sen. Blumenthal on Schumer’s Threats to Justices: 'I Haven’t Seen the Full Text, So I Really Can’t Comment'

Bruce Truax | March 9, 2020 | 4:54pm EDT
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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (Getty Images)

( – The day after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) stood outside the Supreme Court and threatened Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – “you won’t know what hit you” – over an abortion case, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he could not comment on Schumer’s remarks because he had not “seen the full text.”

On March 4, Schumer attended a pro-abortion rally outside the Supreme Court and took to the podium and said, “I want to tell you, Gorsuch I want to tell you, Kavanagh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

The decision apparently concerns June Medical Services v. Russo, a case about whether it is legal to require abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals in Louisiana. The case was being argued before the high court as Schumer was speaking.

That same day, Chief Justice John Roberts publicly rebuked Schumer, releasing a statement noting that the Senate Minority Leader had “referred to two Members of the Court by name” and that “threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous.”

It is extremely rare for a Supreme Court chief justice to publicly chastise a U.S. senator for threats against the judiciary.

The next day, March 5, late in the afternoon, CNS News asked Sen. Blumenthal (D-Conn.), “Do you agree with Senator Schumer that Chief Justices [sic] Kavanaugh and Gorsuch ‘will not know what hit them’ if they rule against a Louisiana law that requires abortion doctors to [have admitting privileges within 30 miles].”

Sen. Blumenthal said, "I have not seen exactly what he said. I’ve seen him quoted as saying they’ll pay a price. I don’t think he meant to literally but I haven’t seen the full text, so I really can’t comment."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

That same day, starting at 10:04 a.m., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had started to criticize Schumer’s comments on the Senate floor. “There is nothing to call this except a threat,” said McConnell.  “And there is absolutely no question to whom it was directed. He literally directed the statement to the justices, by name.”

"The minority leader of the United States threatened two associate justices of the U.S. Supreme Court by name, period," said McConnell. "There's no other way to interpret that." In his remarks, McConnell quoted Schumer in full

Also on March 5, Schumer said on the Senate floor,  "I'm from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language. I shouldn't have used the words that I used, but in no way was I making a threat.”

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