- Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday said society is “becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes.”
- His comments were made days after a leaked draft opinion on Roe v. Wade sparked protests.
- Thomas himself has been subject to scrutiny over the ethics of his wife’s political activism.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday expressed concern about the public’s regard for institutions as the judge himself faces ethical questions about his wife’s actions in politics.
Thomas was speaking at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, days after the extraordinary leak of a draft opinion that indicated the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade.
Thomas said society is “becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes” and “not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” according to Reuters.
“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 continued, apparently referring to the leak but not explicitly mentioning it.
Thomas also said he was worried young people do not respect the law like past generations, The Washington Post reported.
Thomas’s wife, Ginni, has been accused of trying to subvert the law and exert influence over a particularly powerful institution: the White House.
In the weeks between the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection, Ginni Thomas sent multiple text messages to Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, urging them to challenge the election results. The texts were obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News.
“Do not concede,” Ginni Thomas instructed Meadows in a text sent on November 6, 2020. “It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back.”
Days later, after the election had been called for President Joe Biden, Ginni Thomas texted Meadows telling him to help Trump “stand firm,” adding: “You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
Some of the texts also included claims about voter fraud and cheered on efforts by Trump allies to challenge the results in court.
Her husband, along with the rest of the Supreme Court, ruled on some of those cases.
Virtually every legal challenge was stuck down, but the text messages were revealed months after Clarence Thomas voted to block the release of January 6 records — records that included the communications of his wife.
Her ties to GOP leaders and her political activism in general has sparked ethics concerns and even prompted some calls for the Supreme Court to adopt a code of conduct.
Ginni Thomas told the Washington Free Beacon in March the couple has “our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions too,” adding: “Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work.”
As for Americans’ respect for institutions, polling suggests it has declined in some areas, including the Supreme Court.
According to the Pew Research Center, the share of adults who held favorable views of the court declined from 69 percent in August 2019 to 54 percent in January 2022.
A representative for the Supreme Court did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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