A closeup of Clarence Thomas' smirking face

Clarence Thomas Is Simply Radiating Hypocrisy Following Supreme Court Leak

Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas appeared at a conference hosted by a number of conservative think-tanks in Dallas, Texas, where he spoke about his feelings on the recent leak of a Supreme Court opinion draft poised to overturn 50 years of reproductive rights precedent. Buckle up, things are gonna get rough.

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As you’d expect, Thomas bemoaned the disruption of institutional norms. But unlike some of his colleagues, along with members of Congress and a seemingly endless parade of political pundits, who have all been worried about how this leak might undermine American’s opinion of the court, Thomas seems to be saying that it’s his trust in us that’s at risk.

“Look where we are, where now that trust or that belief is gone forever,” he said. “When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity, that you can explain it but you can’t undo it.”

From there, Thomas chose to condemn the protesters who have been rallying outside justice’s homes. And while other justices have been trying to maintain the court’s completely ridiculous facade as an apolitical institution, Thomas goes full us vs. them in this room full of conservatives.

“We’ve never done it,” Thomas said. “You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way. We didn’t throw temper tantrums. It is incumbent on us to always act appropriately and not to repay tit for tat.”

According to HuffPost, “The crowd appeared particularly receptive to the justice’s commentary on liberals” and applauded Thomas’ condemnations.

“We are to conduct ourselves better than they conduct themselves,” Thomas said, adding later, “You also will not see people going to other people’s houses, attacking them at dinner, at a restaurant, throwing things at them.”

In addition to the upsetting othering of liberal Americans, Thomas’ claims that conservatives don’t “throw temper tantrums” when things don’t go their way politically is entirely removed from reality. Is Thomas forgetting that a full-on riot happened at the U.S. Capitol just last year because Donald Trump’s supporters refused to accept the outcome of a legitimate election? Maybe Thomas should look inward here since his own wife was revealed to have been one of the most vocal advocates for overturning that election, sending a slew of whining, cajoling texts to Trump’s chief of staff and other influential contacts.

Even just looking at the issue at hand—the fight for reproductive rights, which is what those peaceful protesters have been gathering for—anti-abortion advocates have never been known for acting “appropriately,” as Thomas insists.

Violence, intimidation, harassment, and more completely inappropriate acts have always been a part of the anti-abortion movement. Thomas should take a trip to a clinic sometime and see what patients and providers have to deal with.

As NARAL writes:

Between 1977 and 2015, anti-choice extremists directed more than 7,200 reported acts of violence at abortion providers. This included 42 bombings, 185 arson attacks, and thousands of death threats, bioterrorism threats and assaults. In addition, more than 234,300 acts of disruption were reported, including bomb threats, hate mail and harassing calls.

On top of all of this, people’s right to protest outside of private residences—the thing Thomas finds so distasteful!—has been upheld by the Supreme Court, specifically to protect the right to protest outside the homes of abortion providers.

Clarence Thomas has been a famously un-talkative person. As the LA Times puts it: “The Supreme Court justice who once went 10 full years without asking a single question at oral arguments — the justice who sits so quietly staring blankly at the ceiling that he made national headlines in 2013 when he cracked a nearly inaudible, nine-word joke — suddenly can’t keep quiet.”

I would very much like to go back to those days when he didn’t tell us these sorts of opinions but even more than that, I’d like to fast-forward to the day he no longer holds a position of any power.

(via: HuffPost, Washington Post, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.