Justice Clarence Thomas says the Supreme Court has been changed by the shocking leak of a draft opinion earlier this month. The opinion suggests the court is poised to overturn the right to an abortion recognized nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade.
The conservative Thomas, who joined the court in 1991 and has long called for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, described the leak as an unthinkable breach of trust.
“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it,” he said while speaking at a conference Friday evening in Dallas.
News4JAX Political Analyst Rick Mullaney with the JU Public Policy Institute said trust has clearly been hurt from the court.
“Both trust within the court among the members, and, of course, some question of the court itself,” Mullaney said. “I’m hopeful that in the long run, that won’t be the case.”
Mullaney said what’s more concerning to him is what the leak has spurred in terms of protests outside the homes of the Supreme Court justices.
“I don’t know in the history of the country if we’ve ever had a circumstance quite like this where you’re seeing protests outside the homes of justices in anticipation of a final opinion,” Mullaney said.
Thomas also touched in passing on the protests by liberals at conservative justices’ homes in Maryland and Virginia that followed the draft opinion’s release. Thomas argued that conservatives have never acted that way.
“You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way. We didn’t throw temper tantrums. I think it is … incumbent on us to always act appropriately and not to repay tit for tat,” he said.
Neither Thomas nor any of the attendees at the Dallas session made mention of the Jan. 6 insurrection or the actions of Thomas’ wife, Virginia, in fighting to have the results of the 2020 presidential election overturned.
The court has said the draft does not represent the final position of any of the court’s members, and Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the leak.
Thomas, a nominee of President George H.W. Bush, said it was beyond “anyone’s imagination” before the May 2 leak of the opinion to Politico that even a line of a draft opinion would be released in advance, much less an entire draft that runs nearly 100 pages. Politico has also reported that in addition to Thomas, conservative justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett had voted with the draft opinion’s author, Samuel Alito, to overrule Roe v. Wade and a 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that affirmed Roe’s finding of a constitutional right to abortion.
Thomas said that previously, “if someone said that one line of one opinion” would be leaked, the response …read more
Source:: Headlines News4jax
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