Justice Thomas Warns Leakage of Draft Abortion Ruling Could Herald the END of the Supreme Court
On Friday, Justice Clarence Thomas likened the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion regarding Roe v Wade to “infidelity.”
Thomas, 73, said the leak would undermine public confidence in the Supreme Court as an institution.
He told host John Yoo that the Supreme Court leak was “terribly bad.”
Thomas reflected: ‘I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them and then I wonder when they’re gone or destabilized what we’ll have as a country and I don’t think the prospects are good if we keep losing them.’
He continued: ‘When you lose that trust, especially in the institution I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You start looking over your shoulder. It’s like a kind of infidelity: you can explain it but you can’t undo it.” Politician.
Thomas was speaking at the Old Parkland Conference, a gathering of black conservatives, in Dallas, where he was the keynote speaker on Friday. Following his speech, Thomas sat down for a question and answer session with John Yoo of Berkeley Law School.
He also hinted that the atmosphere on the court had worsened since he was confirmed in 1991, and suggested that a liberal attorney general might be behind the leak.
Thomas said: ‘This is not the court of that time. I sat with (famed liberal justice) Ruth Ginsburg for almost 30 years and she really was an easygoing colleague…We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.’
“Anybody who, for example, has the attitude to leak documents, that’s their general attitude, that’s their future on the bench.”
Thomas during his question and answer session at the Old Parkland Conference with John Yoo of Berkeley Law School
During his appearance, Thomas said, “I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them and then I wonder when they’ll be gone or destabilized what we’ll have as a country and I won’t.” I don’t think the prospects are good if we keep losing them.
The Supreme Court justices are shown, with the court currently consisting of six Conservatives and three Liberals.
Politico first reported the leak of Alito’s draft opinion, an opinion that was the biggest indication yet that the conservative-leaning court could strike down a constitutional right to abortion that has been in place since an earlier ruling in 1973.
Six of the court’s nine justices are conservatives, and five of them, all but John Roberts, are believed to favor overturning Roe, meaning the federal right to abortion will almost certainly soon be eliminated.
The leak sparked protests across the country, including angry crowds outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices.
George HW Bush’s appointee said conservatives “would never visit the Supreme Court justice[s’] houses when things don’t go our way” and that they don’t “throw tantrums.
Thomas put the seriousness of the leak into context by saying, “If someone said that one line of an opinion would be leaked by anyone, and you would say that, ‘Oh, that’s impossible.’ Nobody would ever do that. He described the idea of a leak as ‘forbidden’.
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the leak was authentic, but said it was not the court’s final position on the issue of Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Speaking at the conference, Thomas did not mention any of his colleagues by name when discussing the leak.
Thomas said conservatives would never “throw tantrums” if they didn’t like a Supreme Court ruling.
Thomas’ comments come a day after Judge Samuel Alito was asked about the leak during an appearance at George Mason University. Alito dodged the question, responding by saying it was business as usual in court, reports Washington Post.
Famously, it was at the same conference of black conservatives in 1980 that Thomas relayed one of his anecdotes to the audience when he spoke about his sister being on welfare.
Thomas, then an aide to Republican Senator John Danforth, said of his sister: “She gets upset when the mailman is late with the welfare check. That’s how dependent she is. The worst thing is that now her children also feel entitled to the check. They have no motivation to do better or get out of that situation.’ The Atlantic reported.
Judge Clarence Thomas: A Brief History
Judge Clarence Thomas was born outside of Savannah, Georgia in 1948, where he was raised in part by his maternal grandparents.
Thomas earned his law degree from Yale. After graduating, he said law firms didn’t take him seriously because they believed his title was due to affirmative action.
In 1974, Thomas began working for the Missouri Attorney General’s office under John Danforth.
Thomas was appointed to a position in the Department of Education by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
In 1989, President George HW Bush nominated Thomas to the appeals court. He was confirmed in 1990.
Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States in July 1991 following the retirement of Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Despite the sexual assault allegations against him, Thomas was confirmed before the Supreme Court in 1991.
Since then, Thomas has earned a reputation as one of the most conservative members of the court, if not the most conservative.
Thomas has been married to his second wife Virginia Lamp since 1987.
Lamp, a conservative activist, stirred controversy in 2022 when it was widely reported that she interacted with President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, encouraging him to push voter fraud conspiracy theories.