Lawyers did not take kindly to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's apparent threats aimed at two Supreme Court judges over abortion rights.
Schumer at a rally outside the Supreme Court Wednesday said:
"I want to tell you, [Neil] Gorsuch. I want to tell you, [Brett] 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."
Schumer's comments came as the Supreme Court heard over an hour of arguments concerning a controversial Louisiana abortion access law that critics say will leave just one doctor there to perform the procedure.
George Terwilliger, Partner at McGuireWoods LLP and former Deputy Attorney General, said the statements were "out of line."
"Any statements that can be understood to threaten judges personally are completely out of line," Terwilliger said in a statement provided to Newsmax. "Equally offensive are statements that can appear to be designed to intimidate judges in deciding questions of law. We have to be better than that in a civil society."
David Rivkin, an appellate and constitutional lawyer in Washington, D.C., who served at the Justice Department and the White House Counsel's Office during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations, said the comment was "outrageous" and amounted to a threat against sitting Supreme Court Justices.
"It is designed to intimidate them," he said. "This behavior cannot be countenanced. Indeed, it has to be condemned as unconstitutional conduct."
Ashley N. Baker, the Director of Public Policy at The Committee for Justice, said Schumer "reached a new low when he stood on the Supreme Court steps and threatened Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. His political posturing outside the court was a flagrant attempt to influence the two newest Justices in the building."
Chief Justice John Roberts earlier in the day issued a statement rebuking Schumer.
"Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous," he said. "All members of the court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter."
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