Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently weighed in on a panel on racial inequality and judicial philosophy that was broadcast on CSPAN.
While on the panel, the conservative justice put the ultimate burn on his media critics.
“One of the things I say in response to the media is when they talk about —especially early on— about the way I did my job I said I will absolutely leave the court when I do my job as poorly as you do yours,” Thomas said to laughter. “And that was meant as a compliment really.”
“It really is good to be me,” Thomas added. “It really is.”
One issue that is no laughing matter, however, is the leak of an upcoming Supreme Court majority decision that would overturn abortion precedents in the cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Thomas also addressed the issue at the event.
Justice Clarence Thomas Commenting On The Supreme Court Leak & The Protests At The Homes Of Supreme Court Justices
“What happened at the Court is tremendously bad. I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them.”
Justice Thomas On The SCOTUS Leak.
“If someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone, you would say ‘that’s impossible no one would ever do that.'”
“And look where we are. Where now that trust or that belief is gone forever.”
“What happened at the Court is tremendously bad,” Justice Thomas said. “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 destabilized what we will have as a country and I don’t think the prospects are good if we continue to lose them.”
“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally,” he added. “You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity – that you can explain it but you can’t undo it.”
Thomas, speaking at the 11th Circuit judicial conference in Atlanta in early May, also discussed the draft opinion leak that signaled a SCOTUS majority aims to overturn the landmark abortion decisions.
“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,” Thomas said.
“We are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” he also remarked, while expressing there is a “different attitude of the young,” who may not show governmental institutions the same respect as previous generations.
“It bodes ill for a free society,” he warned.
In late March, Justice Thomas, who is 73 years old, was hospitalized with a ‘flu-like infection.’ The conservative justice’s harshest critics seized upon the opportunity to wish him ill and to attack his Republican activist wife Ginni Thomas.
It appears that regardless of the hatred and vitriol directed at Thomas, however, he always stands his ground. And he does it, characteristically, with a good degree of humor.