Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) has implied that 80 recent Supreme Court decisions are illegitimate due to the “partisan” nature of the decisions and the influence of Republican donors on the court’s composition.
“As the architect of an 80-case barrage of partisan, 5-4 decisions for big Republican donor interests, Chief Justice Roberts has zero credibility playing umpire in any political squabble,” Whitehouse wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. The senator has since continued to post on the supposed 80 partisan decisions.
“[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell’s effort to pack the Court is echoed by his effort to reassure the Republican justices of continued Republican political support. In a word: ‘Keep churning out the decisions for our big donors, boys; we’ve got your back,’” Whitehouse wrote on Thursday.
Whitehouse appeared to be responding to the controversy over Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D., N.Y.) remarks outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Schumer was speaking to a group of abortion rights activists as the court debated a case that could restrict access to abortions in the state of Louisiana.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer told the crowd. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
A Schumer spokesperson later said the senator was referring to the “political price” Republicans would pay if the court ruled in favor of the pro-life position. Nonetheless, Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked Schumer over his comments.
“Threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts said. Schumer attempted to walk back his remarks on Thursday.
“I am from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language,” the senator said. “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.”