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.

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.