Deputy Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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Judge Clarence Thomas said that the Supreme Court was swayed by the shocking leak of a draft opinion earlier this month. The idea that the court was ready to overturn abortion rights recognized nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade.
Conservative Thomas, who entered the court in 1991 and has long called for the Roe v. Wade case to be overturned, describes the leak as an unthinkable breach of trust.
“When you lose that trust, especially in the organization I’m in, it fundamentally changes the organization. You start to look over your shoulder. It’s like a kind of infidelity that you have. explainable, but you can’t undo,” he said while speaking at a conference Friday night in Dallas.
The court said the draft did not represent the final position of any member of the court, and Chief Justice John Roberts ordered an investigation into the leak.
Thomas, a candidate for President George H.W. Bush, said it was beyond “anyone’s imagination” prior to the May 2 opinion leak to Politico that even a single line of comments draft will also be released first, much less than the entire draft is almost running. 100 pages. Politico also reported that in addition to Thomas, conservative judges Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted with the author of the draft opinion, Samuel Alito, to pass Roe v. Wade and a 1992 decision , Planned Parenthood sued Casey, claiming Roe found a constitutional right to an abortion.
Thomas said that in the past, “if someone said that a line of an opinion” would leak, the answer would be: “Oh, that’s impossible. No one can do that.”
Thomas said at the Old Parkland Conference, which describes itself as a conference “now that trust or belief is gone forever to discuss proven alternative approaches to solving these challenges.” challenges that black Americans face today.”
Thomas also said at one point: “I think what happened in the courts is awful… I wonder if we’re going to have these institutions at the rate that we’re undermining them. in how long.”
Thomas was also moved in moving libertarian rallies at the homes of conservative judges in Maryland and Virginia following the publication of the draft opinion. Thomas argues that conservatives have never acted like that.
“You would never visit the homes of Supreme Court justices when things don’t go our way. We don’t go on a rampage. I think … our responsibility is to always be there. acting accordingly and not tit-for-tat,” he said.
Protests at the Supreme Court and across the country are also expected on Saturday.
Thomas was speaking to the audience during a conversation with John Yoo, who is now a Berkeley Law professor but worked for Thomas for a year in the early 1990s as a law clerk.
Each judicial body typically has four law secretaries per year, and the current group of law secretaries is at the center of speculation as a possible source of draft opinion leaks. They are one of the few groups, along with judges and some administrative staff, with access to draft comments.
Thomas also answered a number of questions from the audience, including one from a man who asked about the friendships between liberal and conservative judges on the court, such as the famous friendship between late Justice liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg and conservative Late Justice Antonin Scalia. “How can we foster such a relationship in Congress and in the general population?” asked the man.
“Well, I’m just worried about keeping it in court for now,” Thomas replied. He continued to speak in bright terms about former colleagues. “This is not the court of that era,” he said.
Despite his remarks, Thomas seemed happy – sometimes genuinely smiling. Yoo, who is known for writing the so-called “torture memo” that the George W. Bush administration used to justify using the technique of “enhanced interrogation” in the wake of today’s terrorist attacks September 11, said at one point that he had photographed the note. Thomas performed during the conference.
“Will you leak them?” Thomas asked smiling.
Yoo replied, “Well, I know where to go… Politico will publish whatever I give them now.”