WASHINGTON, DC, March 5, 2020 – Chief Justice John Roberts issued a highly unusual statement Wednesday rebuking comments made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer about the backlash the justices would face if they reverse a four-year-old precedent to erode the right to an abortion.
Alliance for Justice Legal Director Daniel Goldberg issued the following statement:
“It’s unfortunate that Chief Justice Roberts’ attempt to defend the integrity of the Supreme Court instead highlighted his own partisan biases. Roberts offered no such rebuke when Brett Kavanaugh threatened revenge against Democratic senators who opposed his confirmation. He also offered no such rebuke to President Trump when he repeatedly attacked Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonya Sotomayor, as well as the many lower court judges that have ruled against his administration’s unlawful policies and misconduct. Roberts instead apparently reserves his ire for the Democratic Senate Minority Leader.
“Sen. Schumer has been a stalwart champion for health care rights, including defending the right to abortion from constant legal threats. His comments reflected widespread concern that the Court is considering overturning a ruling it issued just four years ago, as demonstrated by the massive rally he was speaking to. Some of the justices were even considering the absurd premise that an identical pair of laws could be constitutional in one state and not in another so that they could justify a ruling that would further limit access to abortion. Schumer wasn’t wrong that if the Supreme Court violates its own precedent simply to advance the conservatives’ partisan agenda, there will be a significant public backlash.”