Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts offered a rare and extraordinary rebuke against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) over "dangerous comments he made against the Supreme Court, and Schumer fired back an angry response.
Schumer made the comments as the highest court of the land was hearing arguments in a case about abortion rights.
"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 at the pro-abortion rally. "You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."
The case under consideration involved a Louisiana law that raised the requirements for a medical practitioner performing abortions. Critics say that the higher bar would effectively ban abortion for many women.
"Inappropriate" and "Dangerous"
Roberts, who is famously reluctant to politicize the court, rebuked Schumer in a statement on Wednesday specifically referring to his comments.
"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," said Roberts.
"All members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter," Roberts concluded.
Schumer fires back
A spokesperson for Schumer followed up in a statement on Wednesday accusing Roberts of following right-wing talking points about his statement.
The statement explained that 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."
The statement also accused Roberts of being biased.
"For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing's deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said," the statement continued, "while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes."