On Thursday morning, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on the Senate floor called on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to apologize for remarks he made during a pro-abortion rally on Wednesday.
Grassley served as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings for both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
Schumer during a rally hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights on Wednesday morning directed his remarks at President Donald Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court, Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
“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 said.
Grassley spoke of the importance of the judiciary and how Schumer’s comments undermine that.
“An independent judiciary is one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” he said. “Judges serve lifetime appointments, free from political pressure, so they can render impartial judgment without fear of retribution.”
Grassley said with Schumer’s remarks on Wednesday, the country took a step in the “wrong direction.”
“At best, it was an injection of partisan politics into a process that should be immune to them. At worst, it was a threat targeting two sitting members of the Supreme Court,” he added. “Either way, I encourage my colleague, the Democratic Leader, to apologize to those Supreme Court Justices here on the floor.”
Schumer on the Senate floor said he “chose the wrong words,” but his remarks fell short of an apology.
“Now, I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They didn’t come out the way I intended to,” Schumer said. “My point was that there would be political consequences, political consequences for President Trump and Senate Republicans if the Supreme Court, with the newly confirmed justices, stripped away a woman’s right to choose.”
He used the opportunity to attack Republicans instead.
“Of course I didn’t intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise. I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language. 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. And Leader McConnell knows that. And Republicans who are busy manufacturing outrage over these comments know that, too,” Schumer said.