Clarence Thomas: Abortion Dominates Supreme Court Nominations

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Clarence Thomas: Abortion Dominates Supreme Court Nominations

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 22, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is worried that lawmakers are putting a stranglehold on Supreme Court nominations over the issue of abortion. As with previous nominee John Roberts, the abortion views of Samuel Alito are front and center in the debate over his bid.

"I think we all should be honest with one another that the only issue, the central issue in all of this, is abortion. It’s not the other things that people throw out," he said. "The whole judiciary now is being held, in a sense, hostage to that one issue."

In a speech to law students at the University of Alabama, Thomas advocated a shorter confirmation process that would not be as invasive in probing a nominee’s views, AP reported.

"We cannot say that all the examination of nominees has improved the court," said Thomas.

"The whole process of trying to ferret out the personal agenda through the confirmation process isn’t an endeavor that I think is worth the price we are paying," said Thomas. "I think the only thing it does is rats out the agenda of the people asking the questions."

The AP report indicated Thomas said the battle over his own confirmation was in large measure over abortion.

He said former law clerks and other attorneys who would be good candidates for the courts tell him they’re not interested because of the brutal confirmation process.

"I think that’s a problem when the stars are beginning to say, ‘Thank you, but no thanks,’" Thomas said, according to an Associated Press report.

In the speech, Thomas didn’t talk about Alito but did say that the withdrawal of Harriet Miers’ bid had to do with abortion.

Thomas talked about Roberts and the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He said the new chief has a similar personality.

"He is younger, he is smart, he is a nice guy," Thomas said. "He is absolutely fabulous, and we are lucky to have him."