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USA TODAY
WASHINGTON  Chief Justice John Roberts offered a rare rebuke of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday after the New York Democrat made what Roberts called “threatening statements” against two conservative justices. 
Schumer had spoken outside the Supreme Court earlier in the day as the justices were hearing a case about a Louisiana abortion law. Schumer addressed two Trump-appointed associate justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
“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.”
President Donald Trump also condemned Schumer on Twitter later on Wednesday. 
“This is a direct & dangerous threat to the U.S. Supreme Court by Schumer,” Trump said. “If a Republican did this, he or she would be arrested, or impeached. Serious action MUST be taken NOW!”
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Schumer’s comments were widely criticized by conservatives and anti-abortion activists, including GOP Reps. Steve Scalise, Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan on Twitter. Critics accused Schumer of making threats against the justices, a position Robert also took in his statement.
“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.
UNHINGED Schumer threatened conservative justices Kavanaugh & Gorsuch on the steps of the Supreme Court:
“You have released the whirlwind & you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you.”
Enough. This rhetoric has dangerous consequences. Where’s the media outrage? pic.twitter.com/SiGNHxG0iX
Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 4, 2020
I want to tell you Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch: You have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price… you will not know what hit you if you go forward with these decisions -Chuck Schumer
That is a threat. Period.
And Democrats should be asked to condemn it.
Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) March 4, 2020
The incident comes after President Donald Trump was also heavily criticized for comments he made about liberal associate justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, accusing them of bias against him and calling on them to recuse themselves from cases involving him.
Justice Ginsburg should [recuse herself] because she went wild during the campaign when I was running,” Trump said at the time.
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Roberts said Wednesday in his statement that the justices “will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks in an abortion rights rally outside of the Supreme Court as the justices hear oral arguments in the June Medical Services v. Russo case on March 4, 2020, in Washington, DC. The Louisiana abortion case is the first major abortion case to make it to the Supreme Court since Donald Trump became president.
 (Photo: Sarah Silbiger, Getty Images)
A Schumer spokesperson pushed back on the chief justice’s rebuke, accusing Roberts of following a “deliberate misinterpretation” of Schumer’s remarks.
Sen. Schumers 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,” spokesperson Justin Goodman said in a statement to USA TODAY.
For Justice Roberts to follow the right wings 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,” Goodman added.
In 2018, Roberts also made a public statement that took issue with the president’s characterization of a federal judge who ruled against his administration as an “Obama judge.”
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement at the time.
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