On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas denied rumors that he is planning to retire soon.
In an interview with financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein for a series of lectures sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society, Thomas said he had “no idea where this stuff comes from,” reported The New York Times.
“I really don’t have a lot of stress,” Justice Thomas joked. “I cause stress.”
Having joined the Court in 1991, Thomas is its longest-serving current member.
During the rest of the interview, Thomas reportedly reflected on his clerks, his frustrations with his fellow justices, and his original goal to become a Roman Catholic priest before dropping out of seminary.
“I got angry with the Catholic Church over the issue of race,” he said. “I thought that the Church should be the leader of the moral crusade against segregation and discrimination.”
Thomas also discussed his frustration with identity politics, as a black conservative.
“People who will get very upset if someone said all blacks look alike are really comfortable saying all blacks ought to think alike,” Thomas reportedly said.
“If you said that blacks should not be allowed to go a library, you’d be against that,” he said. “If you said that blacks couldn’t read certain books in the library, you would say that’s wrong.”
“But now we are so comfortable saying that blacks can’t hold some of the ideas in some of the books in the library,” Thomas added. “That’s absurd.”
Last week, Thomas warned about abortion being used as a tool for racists and eugenicists.
On the subject of a feisty Thomas concurrence in the Court’s case about an Indiana law which restricts abortion and requires aborted babies to be either cremated or buried, The Daily Wire reported:
Thomas agreed with the Court’s 7-2 ruling that Indiana was free to require medical facilities to provide a dignified burial or cremation for children aborted under their watch, but dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision not to rule on the part of the Indiana law that banned abortions done on the basis of gender, race, or disability.
Thomas cautioned that if the Court side-stepped the issue permanently, it could open the door for abortion to be used as a tool of racists and eugenicists, in line with the wishes of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and other early, prominent abortion activists.
Thomas agreed that “because further percolation may assist our review of this issue of first impression,” the Court was smart to pass on ruling on the Indiana law, The Hill reports, but the Court can’t ignore the issue forever.
“Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation, the court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s,” Thomas wrote. “So long as the Supreme Court forces a policy of unfettered elective abortion on the entire country, it ought to at least allow for states to protect babies from unjust discrimination.”
“Although the court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this court is dutybound to address its scope,” he added.
The Indiana law is targeted largely at preventing the selective abortion of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome, but it is based on model law that could move forward in more than just a single state.