In a stunning critique of mainstream journalists and liberal pundits alike, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday mounted a strong defense of the work he and his colleagues do and cautioned against the sort of radical, partisan-based transformations for which those groups regularly advocate, as Fox News reports.
In an address to several hundred students at the University of Notre Dame, Thomas underscored the need for the high court to retain its independence and warned against politicized actors he says seem intent on “destroying our institutions because they don’t give us what we want, when we want it,” according to The Hill.
Lamenting the current political environment in the United States, Thomas said that the nation as a whole has “gotten to the point where we’re really good at finding something that separates us.”
In what has become a growing trend among his high court colleagues, Thomas also took to task those who claim that Supreme Court justices are actively working to further their own ideological aims, rather than applying measured principles of judicial reasoning when rendering decisions, a trend that has gained steam since the recent 5-4 ruling allowing strict abortion restrictions in Texas to stand.
“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 will always come out, Thomas stated.
Clearly exasperated with the popular characterization of the way outcomes are reached at the court, Thomas added, “They think you’re for this or for that. They think you become like a politician. That’s a problem. You’re going to jeopardize any faith in the legal institutions.”
Just last weekend, Thomas’ newest colleague on the court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, articulated similar concerns in a speech at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center, as the Washington Times noted, in which she said, “My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks. Sometimes I don’t like the results of my decisions. But it’s not my job to decide cases based on the outcome I want.”
Speaking earlier this year, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer made his own contribution to the discussion on the independence of the bench, emphasizing, “It is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution…and it is doubly wrong to think of its members as junior league politicians.”
Seemingly siding with Thomas on the danger of radical reforms championed by the left, such as expanding the court and packing it with liberals, Breyer warned, “What goes around comes around. And if the Democrats can do it, the Republicans can do it.” Wise words, indeed.