OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has expressed high praise of and admiration for fellow associate Justice Clarence Thomas in remarks during a Thursday event.
“He is a man who cares deeply about the court as an institution,” Sotomayor, who was appointed by then-President Barack Obama, said in remarks to the American Constitution Society, adding that while she often disagrees with the conservative justice, she believes that “we share a common understanding about people and kindness towards them.”
“Justice Thomas is the one justice in the building that literally knows every employee’s name, every one of them. And not only does he know their names, he remembers their families’ names and histories,” Sotomayor said, according to The Hill.
“He’s the first one who will go up to someone when you’re walking with him and say, ‘Is your son okay? How’s your daughter doing in college?’ He’s the first one that, when my stepfather died, sent me flowers in Florida,” she added.
“It was Justice Thomas who tells me that when he first came to the Court, another justice approached him and said, ‘I judge you by what you do here. Welcome.’ And I repeated that story to Justice Kavanaugh when I first greeted him here,” the liberal justice continued.
“When you’re charged with working together for most of the remainder of your life, you have to create a relationship. The nine of us are now a family and we’re a family with each of us having our own burdens and our own obligations to others, but this is our work family, and it’s just as important as our personal family,” she said.
Her remarks about her conservative colleague come as Thomas’ wife, Ginni, has agreed to appear before the House committee looking into the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.
The Daily Caller notes:
The request comes after Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, told Axios that the committee thinks “it’s time that we, at some point, invite her [Thomas] to come talk to the committee.” Thompson indicated they’d ask Thomas “soon.”
Thomas, wife to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, then suggested in a statement to the Caller that she’d be open to speaking with the committee, saying she “can’t wait to clear up misconceptions” and looks “forward to talking to” the committee.
“The Committee believes that you likely have information relevant to our investigation, and we request an interview with you to discuss your knowledge of certain events and activities following the November 2020 presidential election,” a letter from the committee to Ginni Thomas reads.
“We respect your privacy, and our questions will be limited to issues relating to January 6th, the activities that contributed to or influenced events on January 6th, and the transfer of power after the presidential election,” the letter continued.
The letter suggested they meet with Thomas “soon,” giving July 6, 7, or 8 as proposed dates.
“Please let us know whether one of those dates will fit with your schedule. If you are unavailable on those dates, we can arrange a time during the week of July 11, 2022,” the letter, signed by Thompson and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney, reads.
The letter also notes that the committee is requesting “documents that are relevant to” their investigation, listing several examples of “documents or communications” that would fit that request.
Last month, Justice Thomas addressed the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that overturns the Roe v. Wade high court decision from 1973 that legalized abortion throughout the country.
He 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 at a conference also attended by Chief Justice John Roberts.
“A leak of this stature is absolutely appalling,” said Roberts of the leak. “If the person behind it thinks that it will affect our work, that’s just foolish.”