Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks with SiriusXM in an interview in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 9. (Cassi Alexandra for The Washington Post)

AIKEN, S.C. — In the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) warned that Donald Trump would appoint liberal justices to the Supreme Court — like his sister, a federal appeals court judge.

Trump said last year that his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, would be a "phenomenal" Supreme Court justice, but he has now said he was kidding. Cruz wasn't so sure.

"Now it’s good to stand with your sister, but Donald’s sister was a Bill Clinton-appointed federal appellate judge who is a radical pro-abortion extremist," Cruz told reporters here.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is one reason why GOP voters need to vote him into the White House. (Reuters)

In July 2000, Barry wrote the majority opinion on a panel that ruled that New Jersey's ban on late-term abortions was "constitutionally vague" and "unduly burdened a woman's constitutional right to obtain an abortion." One of the other judges on the panel was now-Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. The case involved Planned Parenthood, which Trump said in Saturday night's debate is doing "wonderful things" for women's health, a position Cruz has attacked.

"Even among liberal judges that position is extreme and Donald said his extreme abortion-supporting sister would make a terrific Supreme Court justice," he said.

Cruz accused Trump of being a liberal.

"A vote for Donald Trump is a vote to write the Second Amendment out of the Bill of Rights," Cruz said.