Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Thursday on “Fox & Friends” that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) comments about Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were not threats legally.
Wednesday at a pro-abortion rally, Schumer said, “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.”
Napolitano said, “No, I don’t think legally it was a threat. It was hyperbolic. It was [an] excessive use of words, and it was an attempt to intimidate, but it’s protected speech. A threat, where you have the present, apparent ability to cause the harm you are threatening is not protected speech, but this is.”
He continued, “However, this effort to politicize the court, to make them look like they can be intimidated by a mob outside of the courthouse, is very, very dangerous to our system. We put in the hands of nine human beings the ability to decide what the laws mean and what the Constitution means, and we accept those decisions because they have the moral authority to make them. When we begin to look at them as politicians in black robes, instead of as the nine, it undermines respect for law, and that’s the danger from what Senator Schumer said.”
He added, “This is protected speech. I condemn what Schumer said, but will defend to the death his right to say it, but it is dangerous speech if more people pick up on it.”
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