There’s a reason why Justice Clarence Thomas is a legend, and it isn’t just his jurisprudence.
Speaking at an event in Dallas on Friday, Thomas laid into the liberal media, which has made him a target of late over the Supreme Court’s draft opinion in an abortion case that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
His message? He’ll leave the high court when “I do my job as poorly as” media outlets do theirs.
(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been covering the implications of the court’s leaked draft opinion — as well as the investigation into the leak — all from a conservative, Christian perspective you won’t find in the mainstream media. If you support our coverage, you can help by subscribing.)
According to Mediaite, the remarks came at a conference in Dallas last week, where Thomas said his departure from the court was contingent on one thing.
“One of the things I’d say in response to the media is when they talk about, especially early on, about the way I did my job, I said, ‘I will absolutely leave the court when I do my job as poorly as you do yours,” Thomas said, to laughter from the audience.
“And that was meant as a compliment, really,” he added.
Justice Thomas to the media:
“I will absolutely leave the Court when I do my job as poorly as you do yours.” pic.twitter.com/2V7h9vtoLt
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 16, 2022
“It really is good to be mean,” Thomas said at the end of the clip. “It really is.”
And that’s why he’s a legend, ladies and gentlemen: A towering legal mind; a basic, very human grasp of what his role both on the court and in the country actually is; and an unshakable courage he’s demonstrated in the face of a mainstream media onslaught that has continued now for the full three decades since he was confirmed to the court.
There’s not another justice on the court, liberal or conservative, who commands the same respect.
Thomas had more serious things to say elsewhere during the interview — conducted by John C. Yoo, who served as deputy assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, according to Fox News.
Thomas, who was appointed in 1991 by then-President George H.W. Bush, said that confidence-demolishing moves in institutions like the Supreme Court document leak represent the “kind of infidelity” which cannot be reversed.
“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,” he said.
“I do think that what happened at the court is tremendously bad,” Thomas added.
“I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them.”
Thomas has been vocal about the left’s reaction to the draft opinion leaked to Politico on May 2.
In the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “must be overruled.”
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
In the article about the leak, Politico reported that four conservative justices had joined Alito — Thomas, along with Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Three liberal justices are dissenting: Outgoing Justices Stephen Breyer and Justices Elena Kagan and Sonya Sotomayor.
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It was unclear where Chief Justice John Roberts would come down in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which involves a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. The court hasn’t issued its official ruling yet and stressed in a statement after the leak that the Alito draft was far from final.
The final opinion is expected to be handed down in the next few weeks. The court’s term ends typically ends in June.
In remarks on May 6, Reuters reported, Justice Thomas railed against the “unfortunate events” of that week and said that in spite of protests and campaigns of intimidation, the court would not be “bullied.”
He added “we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like.”
“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 said.
But, of course, for the liberal-dominated mainstream media, the only acceptable outcome would be for the court to uphold Roe v. Wade and declare the Mississippi law unconstitutional.
The mainstream media has particular ire when it comes to Thomas, who has the audacity to be — gasp! — a black conservative.
In a February news article, The Washington Post originally referred to him as “the Black justice whose rulings often resemble the political thinking of White conservatives.” As Fox News noted, the paper later issued a “clarification” on the piece about what it really meant.
“A previous version of this story imprecisely referred to Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinions as often reflecting the thinking of White conservatives, rather than conservatives broadly. That reference has been removed,” the clarification read.
How it started vs. How it’s going pic.twitter.com/ekqVsJkcz9
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) February 17, 2022
At MSNBC, Fox News noted, host Joy Reid referred to him as “Uncle Clarence” during the network’s 2020 election night coverage.
Joy Reid with an absolutely disgusting comment about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas just now on MSNBC
“Do any of you guys trust Uncle Clarence…” pic.twitter.com/a0TLxmFfPY
— Jesse Hunt (@JJHunt10) November 4, 2020
“I think what scares people is that if [Trump] decides to do something that legally makes no sense,” Reid said. “But if they somehow manage to stumble into the Supreme Court, do any of you guys trust Uncle Clarence and Amy Coney Barrett and those guys to actually follow the letter of the law?”
From just those samples alone, one suspects Justice Thomas won’t be leaving his job anytime soon.