Sen. Josh Hawley announced Wednesday night he would be introducing a motion to censure Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for his controversial comments about Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
“I would call on Schumer to apologize, but we all know he has no shame,” the Missouri Republican tweeted.
“So tomorrow I will introduce a motion to censure Schumer for his pathetic attempt at intimidation of #SupremeCourt.”
Earlier in the day, Schumer issued a warning to the two conservative justices at a rally held by the Center for Reproductive Rights as the Supreme Court was hearing arguments in a case over an abortion-related law in Louisiana, The Hill reported.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released a whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said.
“You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Hawley called Schumer’s comment “disgusting, shameful, and frankly, WEAK.”
However, the Senate has only censured nine members since 1789, according to the Senate Historical Office.
Schumer’s statement drew public criticism from Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday.
“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.
“All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”
A spokesman for Schumer, Justin Goodman, originally that Schumer’s comments had been misinterpreted.
“Sen. Schumer’s comments were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision,” Goodman said.
Nevertheless, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Schumer on the Senate floor Thursday morning, saying “there is nothing to call this except a threat,” Fox News reported.
“If he cannot even admit to saying what he said, we certainly cannot know what he meant,” the Kentucky Republican said.
“At the very best, his comments were astonishingly reckless and extremely irresponsible.”
Schumer issued an apology Thursday morning, clarifying that “in no way was I making a threat,” Reuters reported.
“I never, never would do such a thing,” he said.
But Sen. Hawley indicated he still plans to move forward with the measure to censure Schumer.