Judge Thomas said the left had adopted tactics that the Tories would not employ.
“You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ homes when things weren’t going our way,” he said. “We didn’t throw tantrums. It is our responsibility to always act appropriately and not give up.
He added that conservatives had “never trashed a Supreme Court nominee”. He acknowledged that Merrick B. Garland, President Barack Obama’s third Supreme Court nominee, “didn’t get a hearing, but he didn’t get trashed.”
“You won’t see the total destruction of just one candidate,” Judge Thomas said. “You also won’t see people going to other people’s houses, attacking them while dining out, throwing things at them.”
He said Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh had been the victim of particular abuse, but he only made a cursory reference to his own brutal confirmation hearings, during which he angrily denied the accusations of sexual harassment.
Taking sides on a disputed point, Judge Thomas said the Senate Republicans who blocked Mr. Garland’s nomination were following a rule that then-Senator President Biden proposed, “which is to say you get no audience in the last year of an administration.”
Judge Thomas, the most senior member of the current court, was a fierce opponent of Roe.
On Friday, he said opposition to his nomination in 1991 was “by these people who were trying to get me out of court because of an abortion.”
During his confirmation hearings, however, he said, to the astonishment of many, that he never discussed Roe, even though it was published while a student at law school in Yale.