Schumer threatens SCOTUS justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh: 'You will pay the price' of pro-life decisions
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the two Trump-appointed conservative Supreme Court justices “will pay the price” for “awful decisions” in abortion rights cases.
Schumer addressed justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in front of a crowd at the Supreme Court and appeared to threaten Senate Republicans and the administration if the court voted in favor of the Louisiana abortion law that could result in the court revisiting the protections provided in the Roe v. Wade ruling.
“I want to tell you, Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, you have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said as the judges hear opening arguments on the case Wednesday. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Schumer suggested there would be an electoral blow-back in the general election after the court reaches a decision, which is expected in late June.
Chief Justice John Roberts immediately and publicly condemned the top Democrat for his threatening comments aimed at the two justices as the Supreme Court takes up a case on abortion.
"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," Robert said. "All members of the court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter."
Roberts and the rest of the court usually refrain from making public comments in order to keep the body from seeming politicized. Schumer's office fired back at the chief justice, accusing Roberts of misrepresenting the senator’s comments while showing political favor toward Trump and Republicans.
According to Schumer's spokesman, Justin Goodman, the senator's comments "were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that these justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision."
The Louisiana law in the case before the justices requires doctors who have the ability to perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital that is within 30 miles of the clinic where the doctor provides care. A nearly identical law from Texas was struck down by the court four years ago.
The case is the first major test of Roe v. Wade under the now-conservative majority Supreme Court.