Though Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) admitted that his comments about Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch didn’t come out like he intended, some Senate Republicans are still not satisfied.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a resolution Thursday to censure Schumer, cosigned by 14 other Republican senators.
In it, he cited Alexander Hamilton and statistics about threats to the judiciary, urging his colleagues to censure Schumer “in the strongest possible terms.”
Not all Republican senators are on board, though. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) noted to a New York Times reporter that President Donald Trump would likely be the next one up for a censure, if the Schumer resolution passed.
Graham says thumbs down to a Schumer censure res: “If we start censuring him, they’re going to censure Trump and this stuff never ends. But he did say something that needs to be corrected.”
— Catie Edmondson (@CatieEdmondson) March 5, 2020
Graham’s office declined to confirm or deny if he’d ultimately support the censure, saying only that he “called on Schumer to walk the comments back.”
The whole debacle started when Schumer spoke from the Supreme Court steps while oral arguments on an abortion regulation case out of Louisiana proceeded inside.
“You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said then, naming Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. “You will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Chief Justice John Roberts issued a rare statement, calling Schumer’s remarks “dangerous” and “threatening.”
Schumer responded by saying he meant the “political price” Senate Republicans would pay, and that Roberts’ interpretation of his comments — when President Donald Trump attacked Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor last week — shows that he’s not just “calling balls and strikes.”
Republicans immediately erupted into outrage, with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) both giving floor speeches to denounce Schumer Thursday morning.
“I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language,” Schumer said in response. “I shouldn’t have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I never, never would do such a thing.”