Justice Clarence Thomas said this week the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaling the highest court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade has changed the court and changed the public’s trust in the court forever.
Speaking to an audience at the Old Parkland conference in Dallas on Friday, Thomas, who has long called for Roe to be overturned, addressed the shocking leak.
Thomas said that before the leak, “if someone said that one line of one opinion” would be leaked, the response would have been: “Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that. Now that trust or that belief is gone forever.” He added later, “I do think that 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.”
Thomas described the leak of the controversial draft opinion as an “unthinkable” breach of trust. “When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. 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,” he said.
Asked later about protesters appearing outside the homes of conservative Justices who voted to overturn Roe, according to the leaked opinion, Thomas referred to past SCOTUS controversies and claimed the protests were different then.
“You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way. We didn’t throw temper tantrums. I think it is … incumbent on us to always act appropriately and not to repay tit for tat,” he said.
The opinion has sparked nationwide protests and activism, as women in many states face losing the right to an abortion entirely and others face severely restricted abortion access. States that do allow abortions are gearing up for an influx of women seeking abortion care if and when the court officially overturns Roe, which has been in place for over 50 years.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DALLAS NEWS