President Donald Trump said that Sen. Chuck Schumer should “pay a severe price” for threatening two Supreme Court justices on Wednesday who are hearing a Louisiana abortion case.
“There can be few things worse in a civilized, law abiding nation, than a United States Senator openly, and for all to see and hear, threatening the Supreme Court or its Justices,” Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday night.
“This is what Chuck Schumer just did. He must pay a severe price for this!”
Earlier Wednesday, at a rally on the steps outside the high court, Schumer warned Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would “pay the price” if they voted to restrict abortion rights.
The court was hearing a challenge to a Louisiana state law that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Opponents said the law would limit women’s access to abortion in the state.
“I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Schumer’s comments even elicited a rare public rebuke from Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.
“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 dangers,” Roberts wrote on official Supreme Court letterhead.
But Schumer’s spokesman, Angelo Roefaro, said the senator’s remarks were misinterpreted.
“For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes,” Roefaro said in a statement.
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