One year ago, Schumer incited a mob on the steps of the Supreme Court in order to bully justices to rule in Democrats' favor.
When Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spoke against the constitutionality of the Democrats’ impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, he reminded his colleagues that Democrat elected officials had recently told their followers to attack Republicans. If Trump was to be impeached for asking followers to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard by members of Congress on Jan. 6, what to do with Democrats’ more incendiary rhetoric and actions, he wondered.
Sen. Kamala Harris solicited funds to bail out the rioters who destroyed Minneapolis during 2020’s “Summer of Rage.” Rep. Maxine Waters called on Democrats to seek out Republicans in public places and “create a crowd” and “push back” on them to let them know “they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
The Bernie Sanders supporter who nearly killed House Republican Whip Steve Scalise at a baseball field in Virginia said he was motivated to kill for “health care” after Sanders and other Democrats had said the Republican health care plan was to kill many Americans. Sen. Cory Booker told his supporters at one gathering in D.C. to “Please don’t just come here today and then go home. Go to the Hill today. Get up and, please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
One example Paul left out of his excellent speech is even more relevant to next week’s impeachment. Less than one year ago, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York led a mob on the steps of the Supreme Court while a case was being heard and tried to thwart the natural deliberation of justices by violently threatening two of them to rule in favor of his and other Democrats’ preferred outcome.
“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,” Schumer threatened the two most recently confirmed justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The threat was so alarming that even leftist activists such as Laurence Tribe condemned it. Schumer received a rare, same-day rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts, who said, “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.”
Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned Schumer’s remarks as “astonishingly reckless and completely irresponsible.” However, Sen. Josh Hawley’s efforts to censure Schumer for his violent threats were scuttled.
The Washington Post write-up of Schumer’s threats focused instead on Republican opposition to them. “GOP seizes on Schumer’s remarks” read the headline.
Schumer’s threats came just 17 months after the Supreme Court had been besieged and attacked by abortion activists upset at Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Like the Jan. 6 event, the October 2018 siege also involved Vice President Mike Pence being condemned by protesters. As he walked down the steps of the U.S. Senate following the vote to confirm Kavanaugh, the crowd greeted him with chants of “shame!”
Across the street, hordes of protesters broke through a police barricade and attempted to beat down the 13-ton bronze doors of the court. Protesters included a topless woman with a Hitler mustache and another woman who scaled the Contemplation of Justice statue in front of the court and sat in her lap to the cheers of other protesters.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, who attended Kavanaugh’s immediate swearing in, were hit with water bottles and tomatoes when their car left the court afterward. Some 164 people were arrested in that protest.
For all the concern about disruptions to the constitutional processes regarding Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, there was far less concern from corporate media and others on the left when Democrat mobs completely disrupted the constitutional proceedings for confirming a Supreme Court justice in 2018.
The Center for Popular Democracy brought 600 protesters to Washington, staging a demonstration in and around the Capitol. On August 1, 2018, following the group’s rally, 74 protesters were arrested when they blocked the Senate hallways to prevent Kavanaugh from meeting with U.S. senators.
Kavanaugh’s first day of hearings included 63 interruptions from Senate Democrats and more than 70 arrests of protesters. The protesters had been flown in by Planned Parenthood Action Fund from across the country.
Winnie Wong, a senior advisor to the Women’s March, explained their carefully coordinated messages. Members going into the hearing room were given “a script where we suggest certain messaging that may resonate more.” The storytellers’ travel and accommodations were paid for, as were their legal aid and bail if they were arrested, which was generally the goal.
Later in the hearings, the organizers of the protesters—the Women’s March and the Center for Popular Democracy— were warning activists that being arrested three times might lead to a night in jail. The group raised sums of more than six figures to finance the protests. “This is well-organized and scripted,” said Wong, “This isn’t chaos.”
Protesters also occupied senators’ offices, managed to shut down the Capitol building, and trapped senators in elevators. All of this was done to disrupt the constitutional process for confirming a justice.
“We were planning to shut down the Capitol Building but the authorities were so scared of this #WomensWave that they shut it down for us,” read a tweet from one activist group:
Particularly by the standard adopted by the media and Democrats for the second impeachment of Trump, Schumer bears responsibility for the protests and riots at the Supreme Court and in Senate office buildings, as well as the attempt to destroy the life and family and reputation of Kavanaugh. Within 23 minutes of Kavanaugh’s nomination, Schumer said, “I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have.”
His destruction, during the Gorsuch confirmation process, of the filibuster for Supreme Court justices contributed to the heated rhetoric in the Kavanaugh battle. His refusal to treat the nomination as legitimate included a prohibition on Democrat meetings with Kavanaugh.
Schumer didn’t trust Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein to handle the political machinations he felt were needed. He organized the barrage of interruptions from other senators that led to the hostility and chaos of the first day of hearings.
Sen. Christopher Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, later told Politico, “It was important that we lay down a marker that this is not a normal hearing.” Sen. Dick Durbin said they wanted to “single out the hearing as something unusual.” Sen. John Cornyn was appalled by the spectacle. He decried the “mob rule” that was disrupting the hearings.
Schumer also said Kavanaugh had no presumption of innocence. He believed outrageous conspiracy theories. For instance, when Michael Avenatti’s client Julie Swetnick claimed — with no evidence in support and plenty of evidence in opposition — that Kavanaugh was a serial gang rapist who had roamed the streets of suburban Maryland for his prey, Schumer demanded the allegations be accepted as true and that Kavanaugh’s nomination be pulled.
Democrats’ argument in favor of Trump’s impeachment is that even though he told his protesters to be peaceful, his refusal to accept the 2020 election incited a mob. What to do, then, with a Senate majority leader who issued a violent threat against Supreme Court justices after a multi-year campaign to undermine confidence in Supreme Court confirmation processes?
What to do with the many senators who brought the mobs into hearing rooms and Senate buildings in order to destroy the confirmation process? What to do with the mob’s many attacks on Kavanaugh and his family?
And how to take seriously a Senate that never held Kavanaugh’s false accusers to account, never censured the now-majority leader for issuing violent threats while a court case was being heard, and never held Democrats accountable for assisting the mobs who attempted to shut down their proceedings?
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College and a Fox News contributor. She is the co-author of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway
FOR MOR INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES