Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that the leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade irreversibly damaged the high court, saying “trust” in the institution is “gone forever.”
“What happened at the court is tremendously bad,” Justice Thomas said during an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute and the Hoover Institution in Dallas. “I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them.”
“And then I wonder when they’re gone, or they are destabilized, what we will have as a country. And I don’t think that the prospects are good if we continue to lose, though.”
“Look where we are, where that trust or that belief is gone forever,” he continued. “And 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.”
Thomas said he never would have imagined an opinion would be leaked at the Supreme Court given America’s deep “belief in the rule of law.”
“The institution that I’m a part of, if someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone…you would say, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that.’ There’s such a belief in the rule of law, belief in the court, a belief in what we were doing that that was verboten. It was beyond anyone’s understanding, or at least anyone’s imagination, that someone would do that,” Thomas said.
Thomas also blasted the left’s illegal protesting outside their homes, noting conservatives would never adopt such intimidation tactics.
“You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way,” he said. “We didn’t throw temper tantrums. It is incumbent on us to always act appropriately, and not to repay tit for tat.”
The Clinton-appointed pro-life Justice claimed last week that the Supreme Court would not be “bullied” into changing its opinion about the 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion.
“We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that,” he said, referring to the draft leak.
Justice John Roberts launched an investigation into the leak, calling it a “betrayal of confidence” that sought to “undermine” the court.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” said Roberts earlier this month. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”