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A draft ruling leaked by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month fundamentally altered the judiciary, potentially causing irreparable damage, Justice Clarence Thomas said at a conference in Dallas on Friday night.
“I think what happened in court is extremely bad…I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them,” Thomas said at the Old Parkland conference.
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The leak — not the potential implication of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – potentially caused irreparable harm to people’s trust in the institution, the veteran judge said.
“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution I’m in, it fundamentally changes the institution. You start looking over your shoulder. It’s like some kind of infidelity you can explain it , but you can’t undo it.” Thomas added.
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High court secrecy is an integral part of the judicial process, allowing judges to deliberate without outside pressure, he added, noting that members of the court did not think of such a leak. could even occur.
“Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that,” he said, theorizing how people thought about Supreme Court exclusivity before the leak.
“Now that trust or that belief is gone forever,” Thomas said.
Thomas also suggested there has been a recent trend of undermining the Supreme Court, challenging its integrity and impartiality – and a new phenomenon of citizens showing up at members’ homes and holding them personally accountable.
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Justice, however, indicated that the tendency was with the liberals and that the conservatives did not act in this way.
“You would never visit the homes of Supreme Court Justices when things weren’t going our way. We didn’t throw tantrums. I think it’s our responsibility…to always act appropriately and not to refund tit-for-tat,” Thomas said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.