Conservative attorney and vocal Trump critic George ConwayGeorge ConwayGeorge Conway: GOP blocking Jan. 6 commission 'more appalling' than both Trump acquittals Press: Get orange jumpsuit ready: extra large Influential Republicans detail call to reform party, threaten to form new one MORE blasted Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPricing methane and carbon emissions will help US meet the climate moment Democratic senator: Methane fee could be 'in jeopardy' Manchin jokes on party affiliation: 'I don't know where in the hell I belong' MORE's (D-N.Y.) comments about Supreme Court Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchAll eyes on Garland after Bannon contempt vote Locked and Loaded: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown on the Second Amendment Justices weigh request for information on CIA's post-9/11 torture program MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughLocked and Loaded: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown on the Second Amendment Why Latinos need Supreme Court reform Feehery: A Republican Congress is needed to fight left's slide to autocracy MORE, suggesting the Democratic leader was "channeling Trump" with his remarks.
Conway, the husband of presidential counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act Biden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' MORE, warned in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Thursday that “bad behavior by politicians” can “be cited to justify” other “bad behavior by politicians of all ideological stripes.”
“Those were threats, pure and simple,” George Conway wrote of Schumer's comments about Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.
“Although Schumer’s office was right that Schumer also spoke of a political backlash at the ballot box, that hardly leavens the threatening words Schumer directed toward Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. They have life tenure. Just as the Constitution’s drafters intended, elections can’t punish them. So what ‘price’ would they ‘pay’? What exactly will ‘hit’ them?” he wrote.
Schumer on Wednesday said that the two Trump-appointed conservative Supreme Court justices “will pay the price” for “awful decisions” in abortion rights cases.
“I want to tell you, Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, you have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said in front of a crowd at the Supreme Court. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Chief Justice John Roberts later rebuked Schumer, saying that "threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous."
Schumer’s office later said his 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.”
Conway credited Schumer for apologizing on the Senate floor on Thursday. But he noted that Schumer’s apology did not make note of his spokesman Justin Goodman pushing back on Roberts and claiming that the Democratic leader's initial remarks were misinterpreted.
"For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Senator Schumer said, while remaining silent when President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg last week, shows Roberts does not just call balls and strikes,” Goodman had said.
Conway wrote Thursday that "[t]his attack on Roberts engaged in misleading whataboutism and false equivalence — and invoked Trump’s bad behavior to justify Schumer’s behavior, which was worse than Trump’s."
“Indeed, since Trump could theoretically make a motion to recuse, and thus present the issue to the individual justices, it would have been inappropriate for Roberts to respond. And given how Trump didn’t and won’t back up his words with such a motion, his remarks didn’t deserve a response,” he continued.
George Conway noted that Roberts has spoken out against Trump in the past, like in November 2018 when Trump criticized an “Obama judge” and Roberts responded by defending the judiciary while maintaining that there are no “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”
“But judges, let alone the chief justice, shouldn’t have to verbally spar with politicians," George Conway wrote. "It undermines the judiciary for judges to have to do that, or even to consider whether they have to."
“It’s time to end the cycle. Instead of channeling Trump, and attacking the courts in ways that are as bad as or worse than the president’s, public officials who ought to know better should behave better. They can criticize judicial decisions on the merits, for their reasoning, to their hearts’ content, but they mustn’t use threatening language. They shouldn’t use judges as political battering rams. And they shouldn’t baselessly attack a judge’s integrity,” Conway wrote, adding that if politicians attack the rule of law “we will all reap the whirlwind and pay the price.”