Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that government institutions can’t be “bullied” into giving people the outcome they want, multiple news outlets report.
Why it matters: Thomas didn’t directly address the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, but he acknowledged that recent events at the Supreme Court might be one symptom of a judiciary which he views as threatened by people who are unwilling to “live with outcomes we don’t agree with,” per the Washington Post.
What he’s saying: “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that,” Thomas said at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, per Reuters.
- He added that he is worried about a “different attitude of the young,” which he said fails to show a respect for the law that was sustained by previous generations, the Post writes.
- “Recent events have shown this major change,” the court’s longest-serving justice said.
- Eroding respect for institutions and the rule of law “bodes ill for a free society,” he added.
The big picture: Thomas voted to overturn Roe in 1992 during Planned Parenthood v. Casey, according to AP. He has repeatedly criticized the Roe ruling since.
What to watch: A former Army lawyer will lead the investigation of the Supreme Court leak after Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft’s authenticity and called the leak “absolutely appalling.”
Worth noting: Thomas has also faced recent backlash for what many see as a conflict of interest after his wife, a conservative activist, said she attended the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the insurrection.