Thomas says Supreme Court after leaked draft opinion is ‘not the court’ of Ginsburg-era

“The institution that I’m part of, if someone said that a line of opinion would be leaked by anyone, you would say, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. Nobody would ever do that. There’s such a belief in the rule of law, a belief in the court, a belief in what we were doing that it was verboten,” Thomas said. “It was beyond anyone’s understanding, or at least anyone’s imagination, that someone does that.”

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

Thomas was interviewed by former jurist John Yoo, professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley and senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, over dinner at the three-day conference focusing on the challenges facing face black Americans.

Thomas, who was appointed in 1991 and sat on the bench with 1993 appointee Ginsburg for almost 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 guys trusted each other, you laughed together, you went to lunch together every day, and I can only hope you can keep it.”

Leaking, he said, had eroded trust, and “you start looking over your shoulder. It’s like some kind of infidelity, that you can explain it, but you can’t. to do.”

The final opinion in the case – which is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade of a federal constitutional right to abortion — has not been released, and votes and language may still change until then. The opinion is not expected before the end of June.

“I think what happened in court is extremely 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’ll be gone or destabilized, what we’ll have as a country – and I don’t know’ I don’t think not that the outlook is good if we keep losing it.”

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