WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas has admitted the U.S. Supreme Court has changed in the wake of the surprise leak of a draft opinion earlier this month. The opinion pointed out that the highest court in the country was willing to annul the right to abortion recognized almost 50 years ago by the Roe vs. Wade.
Thomas, who joined the court in 1991 and has long called for that landmark ruling to be overturned, described the leak as an unthinkable breach of trust.
“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution I’m in, the institution fundamentally changes. You start looking over your shoulder. It’s like some kind of infidelity that you can explain, but you can’t undo it,” she said at a conference Friday night in Dallas.
The court has said the draft does not represent the final position of any of its members, while Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the leak.
Thomas, who was nominated by then-President George HW Bush, said that prior to the leak of the opinion on May 2 to the news outlet Politico, it was beyond “anyone’s imagination” that even one line of comment would be published in advance. an opinion draft, much less a full draft of nearly 100 pages.
Politico also revealed that, in addition to Thomas, conservative justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted with draft opinion author Samuel Alito to overturn Roe vs. Wade and a 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, who reaffirmed the conclusion of the Roe v. Wade, of the constitutional right to abortion.
Thomas said that before the leak, “if someone had said that you could leak a single line of an opinion,” the response would have been, “Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that.”
“Now that trust or that belief is gone forever,” Thomas said during the Old Parkland Conference.