Landmark Legal Requests Senate Ethics Investigation of Schumer for Threatening Supreme Court Justices

By Michael W. Chapman | March 6, 2020 | 12:38pm EST
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) (Getty Images)
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) (Getty Images)

( -- On Thursday, the Landmark Legal Foundation sent a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics requesting that it investigate Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for possible "improper conduct warranting discipline." The request concerns Schumer's comments on March 4, when he publicly threatened Supreme Court Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

"Landmark requests that the Senate Select Committee on Ethics investigate whether Sen. Schumer has engaged in improper conduct warranting discipline," reads the letter to Committee Chairman James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Vice Chairman Christopher Coons (D-Del.). 

"If it finds that a violation has occurred, the Committee has a variety of remedial actions at its disposal, ranging from recommendations of censure, reprimand or expulsion," states the letter. "High level members of the Senate should not avoid accountability when they make reckless and dangerous public statements that possibly violate the law or incite violence against the judiciary."

On March 4, at a pro-abortion rally outside the Supreme Court -- which was then hearing arguments in an abortion-related case from Louisiana (June Medical Services v. Russo) -- Senator Schumer took to the podium and said, 

"I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh -- 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."

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.  (Getty Images)
U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

The "awful decisions" Schumer is alluding to apparently are whatever the Court decides in the Russo case -- the opinion has not been written yet -- and perhaps any future ruling that might restrict abortion in any way.

Nonetheless, it is Schumer's clear remarks -- "you will pay the price ... you won't know what hit you" -- and his naming of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh that the Landmark Legal Foundation sees as deadly.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.  (Getty Images)
Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Getty Images)

"The Senate must immediately reprimand, if not censure, Sen. Schumer for his outrageous and dangerous attack on Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh," reads the letter to the Committee. "this is deadly serious."

"Sen. Schumer's thinly veiled personal threats on these justices may well inflame the unhinged and incite violence," states the letter. 

The letter further states that Schumer's remarks may have violated "criminal provisions of federal law," and then cites the myriad codes. It also mentions various instances in which the Ethics Committee took action of one degree or another for improper conduct by certain senators.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  (Getty Images)
Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (Getty Images)

"In the past, the Senate has censured members for reading confidential communications on the Senate floor, and expelled members for accepting stock at reduced prices and then concealing the transaction," states the Foundation's letter. 

It also says, "Senators have been condemned for employing individuals with conflicts of interest and for not cooperating with Senate investigations. These cases did not involve conduct that violated any law, rule, or regulation, but nevertheless, it was found to be in violation of 'accepted standards and values controlling Senators' conduct." 

"Sen. Schumer's statements directed at justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are within the same realm of this past unethical conduct," states the letter. "His statements may have a chilling effect on the administration of justice. They may even incite violence against them. A threat against members of the federal judiciary reflects poorly on the Senate. This is greatly exacerbated by Sen. Schumer's leadership role. He occupies one of the highest positions in the U.S. Senate as Minority Leader."

The Landmark Legal Foundation is a public interest, non-profit law firm that seeks to preserve the Constitution and advance limited government. Conservative talk-show host Mark Levin is a board member and a former president of the Foundation. Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III also serves on the board, and the firm's president is Richard "Pete" Hutchison. 

MRC Store