Schumer's office says he was referencing justices paying 'political price'

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar Trump lashes out at Schumer over call for supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.) said his reference to Supreme Court Justices Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCoronavirus isn't the only reason Congress should spend less time in DC Progressives urge Democrats to hear from federal judge deeply critical of Roberts, conservatives Trump Jr. says he inherited 'Tourette's of the thumbs' from his father MORE and Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchHillicon Valley: Twitter says Chinese official's virus disinformation doesn't violate rules | Hackers target WHO | Senators urge agencies to stop coronavirus robocalls Supreme Court raises bar for racial discrimination claims in contracts Progressives urge Democrats to hear from federal judge deeply critical of Roberts, conservatives MORE “pay[ing] the price” if they rule in favor of rolling back abortion rights was in reference to political blowback, and accused Chief Justice John Roberts of echoing a “deliberate misinterpretation” of his remarks.

“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,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said in a statement.

“For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE attacked Justices [Sonia] Sotomayor and [Ruth Bader] Ginsberg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes,” Goodman added.

Roberts issued a rare statement Wednesday afternoon after Schumer, referencing a major abortion case in which the Supreme Court heard opening arguments this morning, 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."

"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 the statement. "All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter."