WASHINGTON — The shocking leak of a draft opinion earlier this month transformed the Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas said. The opinion shows that the court is poised to overturn the abortion right recognized nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade.
Thomas, a conservative who joined the court in 1991 and has long called for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, described the leaks as unthinkable perfidy.
“When you lose that trust, especially in my institution, it fundamentally changes the institution. You start looking back. It’s like an infidelity, you can explain it, but you can’t undo it, ” he said Friday night at a conference in Dallas.
The court said the draft did not represent the final position of any member of the court, and Chief Justice John Roberts had ordered an investigation into the leaks.
President George H.W. Bush’s nominee Thomas said it was “inconceivable for anyone” that even a single line of the draft opinion would be released early, let alone almost Run the entire draft 100 pages. Politico also reports that in addition to Thomas, conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett have voted for Samuel Alito, author of the draft opinion, to veto Roe v. Wade and the 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Affirmed Luo’s affirmation of the constitutional right to abortion.
Thomas has said before that “if someone said an opinion” would be leaked, the response would be: “Oh, that’s impossible. No one would do that.”
“Now that trust or belief is gone,” Thomas said at the Old Parkland conference, which described itself as “discussing alternative ways to address the challenges facing black Americans today.”
Thomas also said: “I do think what’s going on on the field is pretty bad…I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re destroying them.”
Thomas also addressed the protests by liberals at the homes of conservative judges in Maryland and Virginia following the release of the draft opinion. Thomas argues that conservatives never do that.
“You never go to a Supreme Court justice when things don’t go our way. We didn’t lose our temper. I think … we have a responsibility to always act appropriately and not give fire for fire,” he said.
Protests are also expected on Saturday at the Supreme Court and across the country.
Thomas spoke in front of an audience as part of a conversation with John Liu, now a Berkeley law professor but worked for Thomas for a year in the early 1990s as a legal clerk.
Each justice typically has four clerks per year, and the current group of clerks has been the focus of speculation and may be the source of the leaked opinion draft. They were one of the few groups that had access to a draft opinion, along with the justices and some administrators.
Thomas also answered some questions from the audience, including one asking about the friendship between liberal and conservative justices on the court, such as the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late conservative justices. The well-known friendship between sending Justice Antonin. Scalia. “How do we cultivate the same type of relationship in Congress and the general public?” the man asked.
“Well, I’m just worried about leaving it on the field right now,” Thomas replied. He continued to speak of his former colleagues in effusive language. “This was not the course of that era,” he said.
Despite his comments, Thomas appeared to be in good spirits – sometimes laughing. Yoo, known for writing the so-called “torture memos,” which the George W. Bush administration used “enhanced interrogation” techniques to defend after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said at one point that he took pictures of notes Thomas during the meeting. Taken.
“You’re going to leak them out?” Thomas asked with a smile.
Yoo replied, “Well, I know where to go… Politico will now post whatever I give them.”