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Justice Clarence Thomas expressed dismay at the leak of a draft opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade, comparing it to ‘an infidelity’

Justice Clarence Thomas expressed dismay at the leak of a draft opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade, comparing it to ‘an infidelity’

Politics of the Day

Justice Clarence Thomas expressed his dismay at the Roe v. Wade draft opinion leak while speaking at a conference hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.

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American Enterprise Institute

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Justice Clarence Thomas speaks out after Roe v. Wade draft leak

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 29:   U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference at the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Department of Health in Washington State has reported the first death in the U.S. related to the coronavirus.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) speaks on the economy during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 04, 2022 in Washington, DC. The group of Senators spoke out about Biden's economic agenda and blamed his administration for rising inflation. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S. Capitol Police officers who were attacked and beaten during the Capitol riot filed a lawsuit Thursday, Aug. 26, against former President Donald Trump, his allies and members of far-right extremist groups, accusing them of intentionally sending insurrectionists to disrupt the congressional certification of the election in January. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

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CNN  — 

Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday expressed dismay at the recent leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade, comparing it to “an infidelity” and saying it has changed the culture of the nation’s highest court.

“The institution that I’m a part of, if someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone, you’d say, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that.’ There is such a belief in the rule of law, a belief in the court, a belief in what we were doing that that was verboten,” Thomas said. “It was beyond anyone’s understanding, or at least anyone’s imagination, that someone would do that.”

The comments from the 73-year-old justice were delivered at an “Old Parkland Conference” event sponsored by the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute in Dallas. The remarks echoed those he had made earlier this month in Atlanta, when he said government institutions shouldn’t be “bullied” into delivering what some see as the preferred outcome.

Thomas was interviewed by former law clerk John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, during a dinner event at the three-day conference focused on challenges facing Black Americans.

Asked by a member of the audience how Americans and Congress could better foster friendships despite differing ideologies, like the friendship between the late Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas replied, “Well, I’m just worried about keeping it at the court now. This is not the court of that era.”

Thomas, who was appointed in 1991 and sat on the bench with 1993 appointee Ginsburg for nearly 30 years, said, “We actually trusted each other. We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family, and we loved it. I mean, you trusted each other, you laughed together, you went to lunch together every day, and I can only hope you can keep it.”

The leak, he said, had eroded trust, and “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.”

The final opinion in the case – which stands as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion – has not been released, and votes and language can still change before then. The opinion is not expected to be issued until late June.

“I do think what happened at the court is tremendously bad,” 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 they are destabilized, what we’ll have as a country – and I don’t think that the prospects are good if we continue to lose them.”

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/14/politics/clarence-thomas-supreme-court-rbg/index.html