Judge Clarence Thomas on Friday likened the leak of the draft opinion of Samuel Alito, a colleague of the Attorney General, regarding Roe v Wade to “infidelity”.
Thomas, 73, said the leak would weaken public confidence in the Supreme Court as an institution.
He told host John Yoo that the Supreme Court leak was “enormously bad.”
Thomas reflected, “I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions to the extent that we’re undermining them and then I wonder when they’re going to be gone or destabilize what we’re going to have as a country and I don’t think so ‘As the prospects are good if we continue to lose them.’
He continued: “When you lose that trust, particularly in the institution that I am in, it fundamentally changes the institution. You start looking over your shoulder. It’s like a kind of infidelity — you can explain it, but you can’t undo it,” Politico reports.
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 participated in a question and answer session with John Yoo of Berkeley Law School.
He also hinted that the atmosphere at the court had deteriorated since his confirmation in 1991 and suggested that a liberal magistrate could be behind the leak.
Thomas said, “This is not the judgment of that time. I sat with (famously liberal justice) Ruth Ginsburg for almost 30 years, and she was actually an easy colleague to deal with… We might have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.
“Anyone who has an attitude of publishing documents, for example, that’s your general attitude, that’s your 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 performance, Thomas said, “I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions to the extent that we’re undermining them, and then I wonder when they’re going to be gone or destabilized, what we’re going to have as a country, and I do.” I don’t think the prospects are good if we keep losing them.
Supreme Court Justices are pictured, with the Court currently composed of six Conservatives and three Liberals
Politico first reported the leak of Alito’s draft opinion, an opinion that was the biggest suggestion yet that the conservative-leaning court could overturn a constitutional abortion right that had been in effect 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 be in favor of overthrowing Roe, meaning federal abortion laws will almost certainly be repealed soon.
The leak sparked nationwide protests, including angry crowds outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices.
George HW Bush’s commissioner said conservatives “would never go to the Supreme Court justices[s’] homes where things didn’t go the way we wanted” and that they don’t “throw tantrums”.
Putting the seriousness of the leak into context, Thomas said, “If someone said that a line of opinion from someone leaked out, and you’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. Nobody would ever do that.’ He labeled the idea of a leak as “banned”.
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the leak was authentic, but said it was not the court’s final position regarding the ban on most abortions in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
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 and responded by saying everything was normal in court, the Washington Post reports.
It was famously at the same conference of black conservatives in 1980 when Thomas told the audience one of his finest anecdotes while talking about his sister who was on welfare.
Thomas, who was then an assistant to Republican Senator John Danforth, said of his sister, “She gets angry when the mailman is late with her welfare. That’s how dependent she is. Worse still, their children are now entitled to the check too. They have no motivation to do better or get out of this situation,” reported The Atlantic.
Judge Clarence Thomas: A Brief History
Judge Clarence Thomas was born in 1948 on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia, where he was partially raised by his maternal grandparents
Thomas received his law degree from Yale. After graduating, he said law firms didn’t take him seriously because they believed his graduation was due to affirmative action.
In 1974, Thomas was working under John Danforth in the Missouri Attorney General’s office.
Thomas was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to a role in the Department of Education.
In 1989, President George HW Bush nominated Thomas for the Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1990 he was confirmed.
Thomas was nominated for the US Supreme Court in July 1991 after the resignation of Judge Thurgood Marshall
Despite allegations of sexual assault, Thomas was confirmed in the Supreme Court in 1991.
Since then, Thomas has earned a reputation as one of the most conservative members of the court.
Thomas has been married to his second wife, Virginia Lamp, since 1987.
Lamp, a conservative activist, caused controversy in 2022 when it was widely reported that she interacted with President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and encouraged him to promote conspiracy theories about voter fraud.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10815579/Justice-Thomas-warns-leak-abortion-draft-judgment-herald-END-Supreme-Court.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Judge Thomas warns leak of draft abortion ruling could herald the END of the Supreme Court