On Friday, Judge Clarence Thomas compared the leaking of his colleague Samuel Alito’s draft opinion 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 “extremely 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’ll be 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 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 meeting of black conservatives, in Dallas where he was Friday’s keynote speaker. After his speech, Thomas sat down for a question and answer session with John Yoo of Berkeley Law School.
He also hinted that the atmosphere in court had worsened since his confirmation in 1991, and suggested that a liberal court clerk may have been behind the leak.
Thomas said: ‘This is not the court of that era. I sat with (famous liberal justice) Ruth Ginsburg for almost 30 years and she was actually an easy co-worker to deal with… We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.
“Anyone who would have, for example, an attitude to release documents, that’s your general attitude, that’s your future on the bench.”
Thomas during his Q&A 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 don’t “I don’t think the outlook is good if we keep losing it”
Supreme Court justices are represented, with the court currently made up of six conservatives and three liberals
Politico first reported on 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 abortion right that had been in place for a long time. an earlier decision from 1973.
Six of the court’s nine justices are conservatives, and five of them — all except John Roberts — would favor overturning Roe, meaning federal abortion rights will almost certainly be soon. removed.
The leak then sparked protests across the country, including angry mobs outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices.
George HW Bush appointee says conservatives ‘would never visit a Supreme Court justice[s’] homes when things haven’t gone our way” and they don’t “throw tantrums.
Thomas put the seriousness of the leak into context, 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 called the idea of a leak “verboten”.
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the leak was genuine, but said that 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 Tories 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 everything was business as usual in court, reports The Washington Post.
It was at the same Black Conservative conference in 1980 that Thomas relayed the audience with one of his greatest anecdotes when he talked about his sister who was on welfare.
Thomas, who was then aide to Republican Senator John Danforth, said of his sister: ‘She gets mad when the postman is late with his welfare check. That’s how dependent she is. What’s worse is that now his children also have the right to cash the check. They have no motivation to do better or to get out of this situation,” reported The Atlantic.
Justice Clarence Thomas: A Brief History
Judge Clarence Thomas was born on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia in 1948, where he was raised in part by his maternal grandparents.
Thomas received his law degree from Yale. After graduating, he said law firms didn’t take him seriously because they thought his degree was due to affirmative action.
In 1974 Thomas went to work 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 appointed Thomas to the appellate court. It was confirmed in 1990.
Thomas was appointed to the United States Supreme Court in July 1991 following the retirement of Justice Thurgood Marshall
Despite the sexual assault allegations against him, Thomas was upheld in the Supreme Court in 1991.
Since then, Thomas has earned a reputation as one of, if not the most conservative, member of the court.
Thomas has been married to his second wife Virginia Lamp since 1987.
Lamp, a conservative activist, sparked 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 conspiracy theories about voter fraud .