Schumer: I Shouldn't Have Used Those Words

He clarifies criticism of court justices after rebuke from John Roberts
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2020 12:02 PM CST
Schumer Clarifies Comments on Court Justices
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks to abortion rights demonstrators at a rally outside the Supreme Court, in Washington, Wednesday, March 4, 2020.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Chuck Schumer isn't exactly apologizing, but he did acknowledge he used the wrong words in his strong speech about certain Supreme Court justices Wednesday. Schumer was hit with backlash from Republicans and a rare rebuke from the chief justice after saying that Trump-appointed justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch would "pay the price" were they to dismantle abortion rights. Schumer made the comments at a rally outside the high court as it was considering its first major abortion case of the Trump era. "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," Schumer said Thursday, per CNN.

"I'm from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language," he continued. "I shouldn't have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat." On Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused him of doing just that, notes Fox News, but Schumer rejects the allegation. "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." Meanwhile, in the SCOTUS case itself, CNN reports that Chief Justice John Roberts, who will likely cast the deciding vote, appeared in his questioning Wednesday to be laying "the groundwork for an important Supreme Court decision that would reverse precedent and uphold new restrictions on physicians who perform abortions." A final ruling is expected by the end of June. (More Chuck Schumer stories.)

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