Chuck Schumer Hit with Multiple Ethics Complaints in Wake of Supreme Court Threat
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer faces multiple ethics complaints following his controversial comments last week directed at Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The complaints were lodged both with the Senate Ethics Committee and the New York state bar’s Grievance Committee, Fox News reported.
Schumer is a member of the bar.
Speaking at an abortion rights rally outside of the Supreme Court last Wednesday while the justices heard a case regarding the issue, Schumer 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,” he added.
It was not clear if the minority leader meant physical injury, public condemnation or political consequences such as impeachment.
Schumer claimed he meant political consequences for President Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans, even though his remarks were directed specifically at Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
The lawmaker later conceded he exercised poor word choice, but then accused Republicans of “manufacturing outrage” against him.
The Landmark Legal Foundation, which is chaired by Fox News personality Mark Levin, filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee on Thursday.
“The Senate must immediately reprimand, if not censure, Sen. Schumer for his outrageous and dangerous attack on Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh,” the complaint reads.
“This is deadly serious,” Landmark’s letter continues.
“Sen. Schumer’s thinly veiled personal threats on these justices may well inflame the unhinged and incite violence.”
The document cites portions of the U.S. Code, which make it a crime to issue “threats” of force in an effort to “intimidate” an officer of the court.
Schumer should be expelled for threatening justices of the Supreme Court and pressuring the Court during its deliberations to rule as he demands.https://t.co/bGq1NsjJkl
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) March 7, 2020
Landmark argued Schumer’s comments “appear to be improper conduct that reflects upon the Senate.”
The National Legal Policy Center filed complaints with both the New York Bar Disciplinary Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee on Friday.
The conservative-leaning organization’s complaint noted that Chief Justice John Roberts condemned Schumer’s remarks.
“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,” Roberts said in a statement.
Additionally, the NLPC pointed out American Bar Association President Judy Perry Martinez denounced Schumer’s attack, indicating she was “deeply troubled” by his comments.
The NLPC’s complaint further highlighted that New York City Bar President Juan Maldonado issued a statement saying the Senate minority leader words “exceeded the bounds of acceptable criticism of federal judges.”
“Statements like these risk compromising the independence and even the personal safety of our judges,” Maldonado added.
The NLPC found Schumer’s acknowledgment of poor word choice unacceptable.
“In short, his non-apology is a lame excuse for inexcusable conduct,” the complaint reads.
New York City-based attorney Joseph Gioconda also sent a letter to the state bar’s Grievance Committee on Monday, in which he argued, “At a minimum, Attorney/Senator Schumer’s statements appear to be improper conduct that reflects upon his character and fitness to practice law in New York,” Fox News reported.
GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced a resolution last week to censure Schumer for his controversial comments.
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