Following the leak of a shocking Supreme Court draft opinion eviscerating Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday chastised Americans for “having become addicted to wanting particular outcomes – not living with the outcomes that we don’t like it,” Reuters reported.
Thomas, speaking to attorneys and judges at an 11th Circuit judicial conference in Atlanta, added, “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into only giving you the results you want. The events earlier this week are a symptom of that,” he noted, Reuters reported on Friday.
He was apparently referring to the protests that erupted after the leak, but did not specifically refer to the draft notice or the protests against it, The Washington Post reported.
Declining respect for law and institutions “bodes ill for a free society,” Thomas warned, according to the Post.
Thomas also said he was worried about a “different attitude of young people” who might not show the same respect for the law as previous generations.
The proposed decision that would upend half a century of reproductive freedoms was not just a surprise, but a radical departure from the previous one.
The opinion, written by Judge Samuel Alito, said there was no protection for the right to abortion in the Constitution, in part because the word “abortion” does not appear in the document. The right to abortion was based on a right to privacy, which also does not appear in the Constitution. Alito’s opinion could upset many other rights that Americans depend on.
The court upheld the authenticity of the leaked document but called it preliminary. However, the opinion, or something very similar, should be adopted by the court’s conservative majority.
The draft notice, released Monday by Politico, would uphold a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade.
The court is due to issue its decision in the case by the end of June.