"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.
In a highly unusual written statement issued late Wednesday, Roberts said "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.
The court was hearing a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. It was the first major abortion case to reach the Supreme Court since the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, who voted to uphold a woman's right to choose. He was replaced by Kavanaugh, who is generally more conservative.
Schumer told the crowd that state legislatures are waging a war on women by passing tough new abortion laws. "I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."
The senator's spokesman said Schumer was referring to the political price Republicans "will pay for putting them on the court." It was a warning, the spokesman said, "that the justices will unleash major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision."
In his statement, Roberts said, "Justices know that criticism comes with the territory," before calling Schumer's comments inappropriate and dangerous. "All members of the court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter."
Chuck Schumer through his career
Chuck Schumer through his career
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters after the weekly Democratic caucus policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: Congressman Chuck Schumer votes in Park Slope. (Photo by Evy Mages/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Freshman Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) discusses the upcoming Senate trial of President Clinton during NBC's ''Meet the Press'' January 10, 1999 in Washington, DC. (photo by Richard Ellis)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Sen. Chuck Schumer and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton join in the applause at a breakfast of the New York delegation at the Century Plaza Hotel on the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 27: Sen. Chuck Schumer and HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo confer during a press conference at HUD headquarters, in response to the lawsuit filed by gun makers, who claim the government is giving preferential treatment to Smith and Wesson after they signed an agreement on gun safety. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2001: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) meets the Daily News Editorial Board. Schumer said that Amtrak's $12 million high-speed rail proposal is the best solution to the air traffic congestion plaguing the area. (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 27: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) holds news conference to announce that he will chair hearings on the use of military tribunals to try terrorists. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 04: Sen. Chuck Schumer (2nd from right) joins in the festivities along Sixth Ave. at the Cuban Day Parade. (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 02: Sen. Chuck Schumer celebrates his landslide reelection victory at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on E. 42nd St. (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 24: Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., puts his hand on a 39,500-person signed petition, collected by Moveon.org, to urge lawmakers to pass the Consumer Telephone Records Protection Act of 2006, which will combat the black market of cell phone call logs stolen and sold by criminals. Gen. Wesley Clark, center, was on hand to tell how his cell phone records were stolen. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., appears at left. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 15: U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pauses during a media conference on Capitol Hill March 15, 2006 in Washington, DC. Schumer and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that they plan to travel to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong next week to discuss Chinese currency measure practices, intellectual property issues as well as port security with officials there. The trip will occur prior to a scheduled Senate vote on whether to impose a high tariff on Chinese goods, in apparent retaliation to the Chinese yuan being reportedly held at an artificially low exchange rate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Senator Chuck Schumer during Gay Pride March 2006: The Fight for Love & Life at Street Location in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Daniel J. Barry/WireImage)
Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Harry Reid (D-NV) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) walk to a news conference to talk about the newly elected Democratic majority in the Senate in Washington November 9, 2006. (Photo by Chuck Kennedy/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee Senator Chuck Schumer speaks during a hearing on Subprime Mortgages and the Foreclosure Crisis, July 25, 2007, in Washington, D.C. The committee heard testimony from officials and families from Cleveland, Ohio, on how the foreclosures have adversely effected their city. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 23: Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., talk as the Senate Finance Committee's markup of 'The America's Health Future Act' continues on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 3: (AFP OUT) United States Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee at the Newseum February 3, 2010 in Washington, D.C. Obama spoke on a range of topics including the state of the economy and healthcare reform. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC- MAY 13: U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to media after meeting with Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill May 13 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to the delegates on the second night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena, Wednesday, September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) ? Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) left, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington D.C., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joke during a press conference on an agreement for principles on comprehensive immigration reform framework at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, listens as Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, not seen, delivers his semi-annual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 18, 2013. Bernanke said one reason for the recent rise in long-term interest rates is the unwinding of leveraged and 'excessively risky' investing. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 03: Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and comedian Amy Schumer hold a joint press conference announcing plans to crackdown on mass shootings and gun violence on August 3, 2015 in New York City. This comes in the wake of the recent shooting in Louisiana. (Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 09: Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), speaks about social security, during a news conference on Capitol Hill, February 9, 2016 in Washington, DC. Senate democrats are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the 'Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act' to the floor for a vote. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: United States Senator Chuck Schumer attends the 70th Annual Tony Awards at Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) cheers on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Sen. Chuck Schumer delivers remarks as President-Elect Donald Trump looks on on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: A February 20, 2017 copy of TIME magazine sits in a rack at a doctor's office February 15, 2017 in New York City. The face of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Party's senate opposition leader from New York, is on the cover. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer departs after answering questions at the U.S. Capitol during a press conference on reports of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions meeting with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign March 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Schumer called for the resignation of Sessions and the establishment of a special prosecutor to investigate alleged contact between the campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump and members of the Russian government. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Schumer's office later issued a second statement in which the senator criticized Roberts.
"For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing's deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes," said Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman, referring to Trump's criticism of the two liberal justices and call for them not to participate in any rulings involving him.
Roberts has often said in public appearances that he believes it is mistaken to assume that federal judges act out of their own partisan political interests. In 2018, He notably responded to President Trump's criticism of a federal judge as "an Obama judge."
"We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said then. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."