Clarence Thomas Says Abortion Leak Has Changed Supreme Court

By JESSICA GRESKO, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Judge Clarence Thomas says the Supreme Court has been changed by the shocking leak of a draft opinion earlier this month. The opinion suggests that the court is ready to revoke the right to an abortion that was recognized almost 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade.

The conservative Thomas, who joined the court in 1991 and has long demanded that Roe v. Wade be repealed, described the leak as an unthinkable breach of trust.

“When you lose that trust, especially for the institution I’m in, it fundamentally changes the institution. You start looking over your shoulder. It’s like a kind of infidelity that you can explain it, but you can not regret it,” he said. when he spoke at a conference Friday night in Dallas.

The court has said the draft does not represent the final position of any of the court’s members, and Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the leak.

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Thomas, a nominated president George HW Bush, said it was beyond “everyone’s imagination” before the May 2 leak of the Politico statement that even a series of draft opinions would be released in advance, let alone an entire draft that runs almost 100 pages. Politico has also reported that in addition to Thomas, conservative judges Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett had voted with the draft author, Samuel Alito, to override Roe v. Wade and a 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, to confirmed Roe’s assertion of a constitutional right to abortion.

Thomas said that earlier, “if someone said a line of opinion” would leak, the answer would have been, “Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that.”

“Now that trust or belief is gone forever,” Thomas told the Old Parkland Conference, describing itself as a conference “to discuss alternative proven approaches to tackling the challenges facing black Americans today.”

Thomas also said on one occasion: “I think what happened in court is extremely bad … I wonder how long we will have these institutions at the rate we are undermining them.”

Thomas also touched on by continuing the protests from liberals at the homes of conservative judges in Maryland and Virginia that followed the draft opinion. Thomas claimed that conservatives had never acted in that way.

“You would never visit the Supreme Court judge’s house when things did not go the way we wanted. We did not make tantrums. I think it is … incumbent on us to always act in the right way and not to pay tithes for tat.” he said.

Protests at the Supreme Court and around the country are also expected on Saturday.

Thomas spoke to an audience as part of a conversation with John Yoo, who is now a professor of law in Berkeley but worked for Thomas for a year in the early 1990s as a lawyer.

Each judicial council generally has four lawyers each year and the current group of lawyers has been a focus of speculation as a possible source of the draft opinion leak. They are one of the few groups together with the Judicial Council and certain administrative staff who have access to draft opinions.

Thomas also answered some questions from the audience, including one from a man who asked about the friendship between liberal and conservative judges in court, such as a well-known friendship between the late liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late conservative judge Antonin Scalia. “How can we promote the same kind of relationship within Congress and within the general population?” asked the man.

“Well, I’m just worried about keeping it in court now,” Thomas replied. He went on to speak in brilliant terms about former colleagues. “This is not the court of that time,” he said.

Despite his comments, Thomas seemed in a good mood – sometimes he laughed heartily. Yoo, who is known for writing the so-called “torture memo” used by the George W. Bush administration to justify the use of “improved interrogation techniques” following the September 11 terrorist attacks, said at one point that he had taken pictures of Thomas’ notes. had taken during the conference.

“Are you going to leak them?” Thomas asked, laughing.

Yoo replied, “Well, I know where to go … Politico will publish everything I give them now.”

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