OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has dropped the hammer on the protesters who are furious at the leaked draft opinion that purports to end Roe V Wade protections for abortion.
The Associate Justice, who appeared on the majority in ending Roe V Wade, spoke at a judicial conference on Friday and said that the court cannot be “bullied” into doing what certain people want them to do, Reuters reported.
The Justice warned that as a society, “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,” he said.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who spoke at the same conference said that the leak “absolutely appalling” and said that it would not effect the final decision.
“A leak of this stature is absolutely appalling,” he said. “If the person behind it thinks that it will affect our work, that’s just foolish.”
On Tuesday the Chief Justice confirmed in a press release that the leaked draft published by Politico was authentic and that he has instructed the court’s Marshal to take action.
“Yesterday, a news organization published a copy of a draft opinion in a pending case. Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work. Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case,” the press release said.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” the Chief Justice said.
“We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” he argued.
“I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” he said.
President Joe Biden also commented on the leak, but he did not address the severity of the leak, only the proposed decision which he disagrees with.
“We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court,” the president said prior to Chief justice Robert’s confirmation of the document.
“With that critical caveat, I want to be clear on three points about the cases before the Supreme Court.
“First, my administration argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade. We said that Roe is based on ‘a long line of precedent recognizing ‘the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty’… against government interference with intensely personal decisions.’ I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” he argued.
“Second, shortly after the enactment of Texas law SB 8 and other laws restricting women’s reproductive rights, I directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an Administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued,” the president said.
“Third, if the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” he said.