Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas likened the leak of a draft opinion indicating that Roe v. Wade would soon be tipped with infidelity.
At an event in Dallas on Friday, the conservative judiciary spoke of a loss of confidence in the High Court.
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“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I am in, that fundamentally changes the institution. They start looking over your shoulder,” he said, according to USA Today. He also said that, like infidelity, “you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”
“I think what happened in court is extremely bad. I wonder how long we will have these institutions to the extent that we are undermining them,” Thomas also tweeted from a reporter.
Protests for and against Roe’s reversal have surfaced across the United States since a leaked draft opinion by Judge Samuel Alito in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case of Mississippi was released early last week.
Alito was asked during an event at George Mason University this week if the judges are “everyone okay during these very challenging times.”
“It’s a subject I told myself I’m not going to talk about today, you know — given the circumstances,” Alito replied, according to the Washington Post.
“The court now, we had our conference this morning. We’re doing our job,” he added after a pause. “We’re taking new cases — we’re heading towards the end of the semester, which is always a busy time for us to be voicing our opinions.”
The leak prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to order an investigation by the Court Marshal. In a statement, the court confirmed that the leaked draft was “authentic” but stressed that it “does not constitute a decision of the court”.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas gestures while speaking during an event.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Thomas, who, according to a Politico source, joined three of the other Republican-appointed justices to vote with Alito after hearing oral arguments in December, said last week, “We cannot be an institution that you can force to give you the results you want. The events of earlier this week are a symptom of that.”
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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a prominent House Democrat from New York, pounced on Thomas this week, asking, “Why are you such a hater?” and tying his criticism to Thomas’ wife, Ginni, who has been in the liberal media for her support of the Efforts to investigate allegations of voter fraud in 2020 have come under fire.
Supreme Court justices held a private conference Thursday for the first time since the leak. The leaked opinion is not final and votes among judges could change ahead of a ruling in the coming weeks.