Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has issued a warning to protesters gathering outside the homes of his colleagues, warning they will not “be bullied.”
Justice Thomas broke his silence following the bombshell leak of the SCOTUS opinion that revealed justices voted to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
Thomas made his remarks in Atlanta at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, a gathering of lawyers and judges from the Atlanta-based federal appeals court and the district courts of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.
“We are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” Thomas said.
“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.
Chief Justice John Roberts spoke at the same conference Thursday, calling the leak “absolutely appalling.”
He echoed Thomas in saying the court will not be bullied.
“A leak of this stature is absolutely appalling,” Roberts said.
“If the person behind it thinks that it will affect our work, that’s just foolish.”
Politico obtained a copy of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that overturns Roe and the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.
“Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.
“And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.
“The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” Alito wrote.
Clarence Thomas speaks after the Roe v. Wade leak, saying Americans are “becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes” from SCOTUS.
“We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want,” he says. https://t.co/B4EnE9B9wg
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 7, 2022
A person familiar with the court’s deliberations said that four of the other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – had voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December, and that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.
The three Democratic-appointed justices – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – are working on one or more dissents, according to the person.
The document, labeled as a first draft of the majority opinion, includes a notation that it was circulated among the justices on Feb. 10.
If the Alito draft is adopted, it would rule in favor of Mississippi in the closely watched case over that state’s attempt to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
A Supreme Court spokesperson declined to comment or make another representative of the court available to answer questions about the draft document.