Justice Thomas said the left has adopted tactics that conservatives wouldn’t employ.
“You’d never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way,” he said. “We didn’t throw temper tantrums. It’s incumbent on us to at all times act appropriately, and never to repay tit for tat.”
He added that conservatives have “never trashed a Supreme Court nominee.” He acknowledged that Merrick B. Garland, President Barack Obama’s third Supreme Court nominee, “didn’t get a hearing, but he was not trashed.”
“You won’t see the utter destruction of a single nominee,” he said. “You can even not see people going to other people’s houses, attacking them at dinner at a restaurant, throwing things on them.”
He said Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh had been subjected to particular abuse, but he referred only glancingly to his own brutal confirmation hearings, during which he angrily denied accusations of sexual harassment.
Taking sides on a contested point, Justice Thomas said the Senate Republicans who blockaded Mr. Garland’s nomination were following a rule that President Biden, then a senator, had proposed, “which is you get no hearing within the last 12 months of an administration.”
Justice Thomas, the longest-serving member of the present court, has been a fierce opponent of Roe.
On Friday, he said opposition to his nomination in 1991 was “by those individuals who were attempting to keep me off the court over abortion.”
At his confirmation hearings, nonetheless, he said, to the astonishment of many, that he had never discussed Roe, though it was issued while he was a student at Yale Law School.