Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas defended the integrity of the Supreme Court in a lecture at the University of Notre Dame — responding in part to abortion activists who are upset the nation’s highest court didn’t put on hold a new Texas law that saves babies from abortion.
He criticized those who, like abortion activists on Texas, are for “destroying our institutions because they don’t give us what we want, when we want it.”
Thomas’ comments came as pro-abortion Democrats criticize the high court for allowing a Texas pro-life law to go into effect. The law prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy.
“I think the media makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference,” Thomas said. “So if they think you are anti-abortion or something personally, they think that’s the way you always will come out. They think you’re for this or for that. They think you become like a politician.”
Thomas said some people oppose the decisions of the Supreme Court simply because the decision wasn’t the outcome the preferred.
“We have lost the capacity to not allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcomes that we like,” he said. “I think we should be careful destroying our institutions because they don’t give us what we want when we want it. I think we should be really, really careful.”
Thomas also warned judges against become too political.
“When we begin to venture into the legislative or executive branch lanes, those of us, particularly in the federal judiciary with lifetime appointments, are asking for trouble,” he said.
Justice Thomas also criticized the confirmation process for Supreme Court judges, saying they have become much too political and partisan.
“I think that is problematic and hence the craziness during my confirmation was one of the results of that,” Thomas said, adding that “it was absolutely about abortion — a matter I had not thought deeply about at the time.”
“The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous,” he added.
Thomas also talked about his own personal experiences with racism growing up in Georgia and he indicated his value and worth came from God, not what others thought of him.
Having grown up knowing he was “a child of God,” Thomas said, there is “no force on this Earth that can make me any less than a man of equal dignity and equal worth.”