Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts criticized Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for comments he made about Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard a challenge to a Louisiana law that requires admitting privileges at local hospitals for doctors who perform abortions in clinics. During a rally held at the same time as the hearing, Schumer told the crowd, “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.”
This drew a rare rebuke from Roberts, who said in a statement, “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. All members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”
Some Republicans accused Schumer of trying to incite violence, an allegation his spokesman, Justin Goodman, dismissed. “It’s a reference to political price Rs will pay for putting them on the court and a warning that the justices will unleash major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision,” he told The Washington Post in an email. “The dishonesty from the right wing machine on this isn’t surprising, but still pretty stunning.”