Following protests sparked by the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision indicating the justices are poised to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas said on Friday that the court cannot be ‘bullied.’
The leak set off a political firestorm, with abortion-rights supporters staging rallies outside the courthouse and at locations around the United States, as well as an internal crisis at the nation’s top judicial body where an investigation into the source of the unprecedented disclosure is underway.
Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the nine-member court, made only a few passing references to the protests over the leaked draft opinion as he spoke at a judicial conference in Atlanta.
As a society, ‘we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,’ Thomas said.
‘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.’
Police have surrounded the court with tall black fencing following the protests, which have been peaceful.
The court confirmed the authenticity of the document but called it preliminary. The court is due to issue its ruling in the case by the end of June.