Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas complained in a chat Friday about having to “look over” his shoulder for the reason that leak of the controversial draft opinion gutting Roe v. Wade.
He called the disclosure of the opinion by Justice Samuel Alito — which isn’t yet final — “sort of an infidelity” that weakens trust within the court, and has made justices regard each other with suspicion.
“What happened within the court is tremendously bad,” Thomas declared in Dallas at a conference organized by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Manhattan Institute and the Hoover Institution.
“Look where we’re, where now that trust or that belief is gone perpetually,” he said.
“If you lose that trust, especially within the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You start to look over your shoulder. It’s like sort of an infidelity which you could explain … but you may’t undo it.”
The source of the leak earlier this month to Politico isn’t yet known.
Thomas also addressed ongoing protests against the draft opinion outside justices’ homes. He insisted that the left has adopted “inappropriate” tactics that conservatives would never employ, completely ignoring the violent revolt on the U.S. Capitol last 12 months when Donald Trump supporters attempted to overturn a legitimate presidential election. His own wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, worked feverishly behind the scenes to upend Americans’ alternative for president.
“You’ll never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way,” Thomas insisted. “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 also incredibly claimed that conservatives have “never trashed a Supreme Court nominee,” which occurred just last month at Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings to turn into a Supreme Court justice.
He complained that beneficial institutions were being undermined by the left.
“I’m wondering how long we’re going to have these institutions at the speed we’re undermining them, after which I’m wondering after they’re gone or they’re destabilized what we could have as a rustic. I don’t think the prospects are good if we proceed to lose them,” Thomas warned.
Thomas fondly recalled his Supreme Court days with 11 years of the identical justices before Chief Justice Roberts took over in 2005. “We actually trusted one another,” said Thomas. “We can have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.”
If someone had said that “one line of 1 opinion can be leaked by anyone … you’d say: ‘That’s not possible. Nobody would ever try this’ … That was verboten,” he said.
Justice Roberts has ordered an investigation into the leak.
Every week earlier Thomas chided Americans in a speech for being “addicted” to the sorts of outcomes they need, and instructed them to recover from it and “live with” rulings they don’t like.
He was blasted by critics who complained that his wife was unable to “live with” the outcomes of the election, and wielded the ability and access she had because the spouse of a Supreme Court justice in a struggle to overturn them.