Chief Justice John Roberts Scolds Schumer for ‘Dangerous’ Threat Directed at Conservative Justices

POLITICS & POLICY
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) speaks to the media in Washington, D.C., December 20, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday criticized Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) over comments the minority leader made in reference to an abortion case currently being debated by the court.

“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,” Roberts said.

“For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Senator 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,” a spokesperson for Schumer responded.

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Earlier Wednesday, Schumer appeared to threaten Republican justices.

“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer told abortion-rights advocates. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Schumer’s office later claimed he was referring to the “political price” Republicans would pay if the justices ruled against abortion advocates.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo, which considers the constitutionality of a 2014 Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their abortion clinic. Critics charge the law would force almost all abortion clinics in the state to close.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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