- Judge Clarence Thomas said he never thought a draft opinion would leak.
- Thomas said the leak of the draft opinion, which could overturn Roe v. Wade, it caused irreparable damage.
- “It’s like some kind of infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it,” he said.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday said the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade caused irreparable damage to the high court.
“What happened in court is tremendously bad,” Thomas said at a conference sponsored by several conservative and libertarian groups in Dallas on Friday night. “I wonder how long we will have these institutions at the rate we are undermining them.”
Thomas said the leak destroyed trust among members of the court, the New York Times reported.
According to the Associated Press, Thomas said the leak was an “unthinkable breach of trust.”
“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution I’m in, you fundamentally change the institution. You start looking over your shoulder. It’s like some kind of infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it,” He said.
Last week, Politico released an entire nearly 100-page draft opinion written by Judge Samuel Alito. The opinion, although not definitive, indicated that the conservative majority of the court could overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 decision that legalized abortion. If the decision were overturned, experts note that a dozen states already have “trigger laws” that would go into effect immediately.
Thomas has long argued that he does not believe abortion is a constitutional right and that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
“Nothing in our federal constitution deprives the people of this country of the right to determine whether the consequences of abortion for the fetus and for society outweigh the burden of an unwanted pregnancy on the mother,” he wrote in a 2000 dissent, according to the Times. “Although a state May allow abortion, nothing in the Constitution imposes it on a state duty to do so.”
The conservative judge said he would not have believed it earlier if someone suggested that “a line of opinion” would also leak, The AP reported.
“Now that trust or belief is gone forever,” said Thomas.
Thomas argued that the current court was not like the court composition which included liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Conservative judge Antonin Scalia.
“This is not the court of that era,” he said, according to the Times: “We really trusted each other. We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.”