During a lecture Thursday (Sept. 16) at the University of Notre Dame, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas warned against “destroying our institutions because they don't give us what we want, when we want it," defending the court’s independence from political polarization, The Washington Post reported.
Thomas, a conservative who has consistently voted to the right on most issues, said the nation’s leaders shouldn’t “allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome that we like.”
He also defended the high court which has faced criticism for being more political than judicial.
“I think the media makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference. So if they think you are antiabortion 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.
His remarks came against the backdrop of the recent Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling to block an emergency appeal of Texas’ law that bans abortions after six weeks.
Thomas has long opposed abortion rights. He has said that the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion is unconstitutional.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision “created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution's text," he stated in his dissent to a high court ruling that blocked a controversial Louisiana anti-abortion law.
Over the years, Thomas has also supported the gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 2009, the court’s only Black justice cast the only vote to strike down Section 5, which required states with a history of voter suppression to obtain pre-approval from the Justice Department to change election laws.
More recently, Thomas appeared to support former president Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud when he lost the 2020 presidential election. The justice raised questions about the reliability of mail-in voting.