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Schumer walks back words he used on Supreme Court justices

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Overnight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson pause seen as 'responsible' in poll | Women turning out more than men for COVID-19 vaccines 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday that he "shouldn't have used the words" he did when he said that two Supreme Court justices would "pay the price" for their decisions on abortion rights cases.

The remarks about Justices Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughFeehery: The left-wing hysteria machine Biden's court-packing theater could tame the Supreme Court's conservatives Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting MORE and Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchTop GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat Trump-era grievances could get second life at Supreme Court Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against Oracle MORE had sparked an outpouring of GOP criticism and a rebuke from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

"Now I should not have used the words I used yesterday," Schumer said in remarks from the Senate floor.

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"They did not come out the way I intended to. My point was that there would be political consequences, political consequences for President TrumpDonald TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' MORE and Senate Republicans if the Supreme Court ... stripped away a women's right to choose."

His comments come as Republicans have raced to lash out at the Democratic leader after he warned the two conservatives justices that they would "pay the price" if they voted against abortion rights.

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“I want to tell you, Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, you have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said at a rally on Wednesday. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Justices heard arguments Wednesday on a Louisiana abortion law that could see the court revisit the protections that emerged in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Republicans have characterized Schumer's comments as a "threat." They earned him a rare rebuke from Roberts and a threat of a censure attempt by Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyOn The Money: Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl | Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term | Left-leaning group raises concerns about SALT cap repeal RNC raises nearly M in record off-year March donations Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl MORE (R-Mo.).

But Schumer hit back at the GOP criticism saying he didn't mean to imply a physical threat and "it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise."

"I shouldn't have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I never, never would do such a thing. And Leader McConnell knows that. And Republicans who are busy manufacturing outrage over these comments know that," he said.