On March 5, while criticizing Sen. Chuck Schumer for his remarks about Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Fox News’ Fox & Friends falsely suggested that an earlier attack from President Donald Trump on Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg was justified because they “were heard saying political, biased remarks about him.” Trump’s comments had been prompted by a Fox News segment arguing that Sotomayor was “attacking, in part, her conservative colleagues” with a sharply worded dissent in a case.
On February 21, Sotomayor had issued a dissent in which she accused her court of “putting a thumb on the scale in favor” of the Trump administration by repeatedly granting its requests for emergency stays on lower court judgments against its pending appeals. Trump tweeted on February 24 that “Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump,” quoting a chyron from that night’s edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, adding, “This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to ‘shame’ some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a ‘faker’. Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump-related, matters!” Trump reiterated his demand in a press conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump’s comments about Ginsburg reference remarks she made about him when he was a presidential candidate in July 2016, calling him a “faker”; after he called on her to resign, she admitted her statements had been “ill advised.” (The Ingraham Angle had also criticized Ginsburg's 2016 comments.)
A couple of weeks later, on March 4, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned Gorsuch and Kavanaugh during a rally in front of the Supreme Court that they would “pay the price” for a vote against abortion rights. Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked Schumer’s “threatening statements,” and Schumer’s office responded accusing Roberts of hypocritically “remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor & Ginsburg last week.”
Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt reacted the next morning in part by denying that Trump attacked Sotomayor and Ginsburg.“He was just asking those two justices to recuse themselves because they were heard saying political, biased remarks about him,” she said, even though Sotomayor said no such thing, and Ginsburg’s comment, which she already expressed regret for, was years old.