Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor defended fellow Justice Clarence Thomas from unfounded leftist attacks this week, saying she knows the conservative justice “cares about people.”
Despite their opposing views on many issues, including abortion, Sotomayor and Thomas are friends and she publicly has spoken about her respect for him — something that has become less common from people on the left, Newsweek reports.
“I look for the things that they do that are good,” Sotomayor said during a speech Thursday at Roosevelt University in Chicago. “He cares about legal issues differently than me.”
The liberal justice said she always tries “to find the good in everybody,” and she knows Thomas “cares about people.”
Their friendship is encouraging in a culture where politics have become increasingly divisive. Although Sotomayor wanted to keep Roe v. Wade and Thomas joined the majority that overturned the abortion ruling in June, the two still respect and value each other.
Speaking at the university Thursday, Sotomayor said they have different perspectives on a lot of issues.
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“Clarence, who grew up very poor, believes that everyone is capable of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps,” she said. “I believe not everyone can reach their bootstraps.”
Here’s more from the report:
At an event hosted by the American Constitution Society in June, Sotomayor said that she has probably disagreed with Thomas “more than any other justice,” but the two have a friendship partly because he is someone “who cares deeply about the Court as an institution—about the people who work here.”
She and Thomas share a “common understanding about people and kindness,” she added.
“That’s why I can be friends with him and still continue our daily battle over our differences of opinions in cases,” she said. “You really can’t begin to understand an adversary unless you step away from looking at their views as motivated in bad faith.”
Sotomayor’s advice comes amid a barrage of aggressive bad faith attacks from the pro-abortion movement. Lies and half-truths about pro-life goals and laws have been prevalent. Meanwhile, pro-abortion politicians have ignored a wave of crime targeting pro-life organizations and churches this year.
Abortion activists also have attempted to intimidate Thomas and other conservative justices through threats and illegal protests outside their homes. Police arrested a young man who allegedly was planning to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh near his home this summer.
Republican leaders have been pressing the Biden administration for answers about the lack of arrests of violent abortion activists and its decision not to enforce a law that prohibits protests outside the homes of judges, jurors, witnesses and other court officials.