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Clarence Thomas: “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied”

Clarence Thomas: “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied”

“[W]e are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like”

public domain

While not specifically mentioning the SCOTUS Roe leak, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made a spot-on observation to a judicial conference in Atlanta: “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.”

Reuters reports:

Following protests sparked by the leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court decision indicating the justices are poised to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas said on Friday that the court cannot be “bullied.”

The leak set off a political firestorm, with abortion-rights supporters staging rallies outside the courthouse and at locations around the United States, as well as an internal crisis at the nation’s top judicial body where an investigation into the source of the unprecedented disclosure is underway.

Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the nine-member court, made only a few passing references to the protests over the leaked draft opinion as he spoke at a judicial conference in Atlanta.

As a society, “we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” Thomas said.

“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’s right, of course.  In just the past few years, we have all seen numerous violent, illegal, intrusive, and morally-bankrupt attempts by the radical left to bully and coerce everyone from major corporations to juries to politicians to government bodies into providing their chosen outcome.

Andrew Sullivan, over at his substack, makes an excellent point about how hypocritical Democrats and the left are in constantly hammering the myriad “threats to our Democracy” they see under every rock and around every corner. Democrats, particularly the far left but up to and including Joe Biden, have no interest in democracy; indeed, they fear it.

What strikes me about all of this is not the emotive hyperbole — that’s par for the course in a country where every discourse is now dialed to eleven. What strikes me most in these takes is the underlying contempt for and suspicion of the democratic process — from many of the same people who insist they want to save it. How dare voters have a say on abortion rights! The issue — which divides the country today as much as it has for decades — is one that apparently cannot ever be put up for a vote. On this question, Democrats really do seem to believe that seven white men alone should make that decision — once, in 1973. Women today, including one on SCOTUS? Not so much.

Is this the case in any other Western country? No. Even the most progressive countries regulate abortion through the democratic process. In Germany, it’s illegal after 12 weeks of pregnancy — more restrictive than the case before the US Supreme Court that bars abortion after 15 weeks. European countries where the legal cutoff is even more restrictive: Austria, Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium and Switzerland. Abortion enshrined as a constitutional right? Not even in super-progressive Canada.

The United States, in other words, has been an outlier in the past and, if Roe is reversed, will return to a democratic politics of abortion, in line with most of the Western world. And so I wonder: why is this so terrifying for pro-choicers?

. . . . So why the preference for terror, fear and rage on an issue where the public remains deeply conflicted? I have two thoughts. The first is that many Democratic elites really do not trust the American people. They have a resilient belief that a huge segment of this country is rotten, bigoted, racist and, yes, deplorable. Here’s the president today: “I’m not prepared to leave [abortion policy] to the whims of the public at the moment in local areas.” Whims of the public! We used to call that democracy.

Read the whole thing.

There is nothing wrong with working to try to change/repeal/overturn laws, even High Court rulings, with which we disagree. In a functioning Constitutional Republic, that is what we do to affect the changes we seek to public policy, laws, regulations, etc.

There is everything wrong with showing up at the homes of justices (and elected officials) with whom you disagree in order to bully and intimidate them into bending to your will. There is everything wrong with rioting, burning, looting, and murdering when you don’t get your way. There is everything wrong with an administration that refuses to condemn these divisive, destructive, damaging tactics.

It’s past time to put a stop to the radical left public menace and to restore sanity to the political and judicial process.


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“We can’t be an institution that can be bullied”

That ship sailed when John Roberts betrayed the country on obamacare.

Now we’re just haggling over the price.

    natdj in reply to irv. | May 7, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    I would add that the “esteemed” Chief Justice help throw gas on the fire by turning a blind eye to the cheating in the 2020 election by making Election Day more like Election Year! He is in my opinion Chief Judas Roberts and is a threat to our Constitution.

    Biden’s FBI should enforce this law:
    18 U.S. Code § 1507 – Picketing or parading
    U.S. Code

    Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

    Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of the United States of its power to punish for contempt.

    (Added Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 31(a), 64 Stat. 1018; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

I how a few someone’s passion over to the Red Devils house

Judge Thomas I pray that’s so, but in this case we will see

My problem with this issue is that I suspect that every one of those countries mentioned may have only one standard for abortion for the whole country. Having potentially 50 different standards makes no sense to me on an issue deemed of national importance; and does appear to discriminate against poor people with fewer options living in strict rule states.

Therefore, while I think overturning Roe v Wade is legally correct and a Constitutional amendment defining the rights of a fetus versus the rights of the party bearing it a better solution, an amendment seems a political impossibility. So I wrestle with which is a better result, continuing with a poor legal precedent and having a national standard or the unfairness that I see will come from overturning it and having state standards.

    Valerie in reply to jb4. | May 7, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Add this consideration: What would be the consequences of a grant of power to either the Federal government or the States, instead of to the individual?

    Is there any way to assure which direction the power would be used? How do you grant the power to ban abortions without also granting the power to coerce abortions?

    If Roe v. Wade is overturned, we will have a Slaughter of the Innocents within 2 years. That is, wholesale, coerced abortions like China’s One Child policy. Anybody who was paying attention when leftists were howling for the death of Sarah Palin’s child with Down Syndrome will know this.

      txvet2 in reply to Valerie. | May 7, 2022 at 9:32 pm

      1.) What makes you think that Planned Parenthood hasn’t been coercing abortions since they were founded

      2) How do you define over a million abortions a year under RvW, if not a slaughter of the innocents?

      3) Given that the vast majority of voters are in favor of restrictions on abortion, why do you think the abortion rate would get worse?

      smalltownoklahoman in reply to Valerie. | May 7, 2022 at 9:48 pm

      If coerced abortions happen I believe it will only be in the more extremely left wing states. If a few states do try to force women to have abortions (for any of a number of reasons) I think what may become the next issue will be if some of those women flee those states to ones that outlaw abortion how are the states going to handle that issue? Would these women be treated as felons trying to flee the law and if so would the states they flee to cooperate in sending these women back? Would the feds have to then get involved, especially if these states that ban abortion refuse to cooperate with those that legalize it over this issue? You can imagine how contentious an issue this could become.

      Milhouse in reply to Valerie. | May 8, 2022 at 1:58 am

      What would be the consequences of a grant of power to either the Federal government or the States, instead of to the individual?

      Nobody is “granting” the states the power to ban abortion. States naturally have that power, but the supreme court wrongly forbade them from using it; now they will be able to do what they should have been all along.

      Is there any way to assure which direction the power would be used? How do you grant the power to ban abortions without also granting the power to coerce abortions?

      That’s ridiculous. It’s exactly like asking “how do you get the power to ban the murder of black people without also having the power to coerce it?” Every state does ban murder, and no state has ever tried requiring it. How is it different when discussing victims who are not yet born?

      Danny in reply to Valerie. | May 8, 2022 at 6:07 am

      The problem is we already have that in practice.

      Overturning Roe will make some purple and ever red state a lot more pro-life but will only be the start not the finish of ending the American Death Cult.

    mbecker908 in reply to jb4. | May 7, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    When you live in a country that includes California, New York, Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis, a national consensus on anything is not possible.

    Only a very uncivil civil war could last the foundation for a national consensus.

      Well, no. Our form of government is explicit that states have the right to function as their voters wish. Leftist strongholds are dying, but that’s how it goes when you vote for destructive crap to feel good about yourself and be in the “in” crowd.

      We don’t need a civil war; we need Democrats to start listening to voters, including Democrat voters, who don’t want the radical lunacy they are currently selling.

      They’ll either get this and salvage their party, or they will not and be annihilated politically. The tides have turned, and the left is dog-paddling against them.

    No, let the states deal with this for a few years. We don’t NEED a federal law. This is a states issue.

      CommoChief in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 7, 2022 at 9:58 pm

      Indeed. Let’s lower the national political temperature by resisting the impulse to impose a sweeping national change from the right. A reinvigorated Federalism is the best course for our Nation.

      Let Mississippi be Mississippi and let Massachusetts be Massachusetts. If residents in any State are unsatisfied they can organize and work to change the laws of their State or simply move to State that better reflects their beliefs if they feel strongly enough.

    Well, the EU is supposed to function rather like a republic, right? But they manage just fine with different laws in different countries.

    That’s neither here nor there, though, states already have different standards, laws, and regulations governing abortion in each state. Nothing will change should Roe be overturned.

    I do not believe that it is the federal government’s place to dictate to states on anything not specifically designated to it by the Constitution.

    Every state has its own laws on pretty much everything, how is this any different?

    Milhouse in reply to jb4. | May 8, 2022 at 1:52 am

    Why is it a problem to have 50 different standards in America and not a problem to have 20 or 30 different standards in Europe or any other continent? We are not one state; we are a federation of 50 different states, and it’s completely normal and desirable that each has the laws that its people want.

    I’d support an amendment requiring states to protect unborn children; I’d even support a federal statute requiring that, based on Congress’s power to enforce the 14th amendment. But not because I think there should be one standard.

      TheOldZombie in reply to Milhouse. | May 8, 2022 at 1:46 pm

      It isn’t. In fact it is one of America’s great strengths that unlike any other country on the planet, past or present, we can have a country with 50 standards. It really gives states the ability to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s why a lot of states use each other’s laws as a guide to write their own. (A good example is CCW laws that have spread through the states)

      I could see this happen with abortion. Over time states will see abortion laws in other states that are working and will migrate to copying those laws. So we would have a nationally organic standard with a few minor differences here and there. The outliers of course would be nutty states like California but the rest of us would be fine.

      This is why I was fine with Romneycare. Let Massachusetts do it as it’s their state. It failed of course and no other state, even the leftist loony state of California, copied Romneycare. Unfortunately the Dems tried it at the Federal level with Obamacare. We are still dealing with that slowly sinking ship.

        TheOldZombie in reply to TheOldZombie. | May 8, 2022 at 1:57 pm

        Damn I just realized this….

        Roe vs Wade interrupted that process of states copying other states abortion laws. The states were changing on abortion when the decision came down and imposed a national standard on all 50 states.

It seems that the protest at Kavanaugh’s house was organized by one of his neighbors. A fitting response would be a much larger protest in front of her house, using the same rules of behavior.

Thomas will not take a knee, he will not beg, he will not be a good boy for the sake of political congruence.

henrybowman | May 7, 2022 at 11:01 pm

Tucker quoted a law in a recent segment that makes it a federal crime to assemble and demonstrate outside the workplace or residence of a judge in order to influence a ruling. I’m sure Merrick Garland is getting right on that as we speak.

    Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | May 8, 2022 at 2:02 am

    That doesn’t sound like it could possibly be constitutional.

      Danny in reply to Milhouse. | May 8, 2022 at 6:13 am

      Laws against intimidation of judges handling a case would have a 100% chance of passing any constitutional challenge in court and are therefore constitutional. I know of no evidence that the founding fathers intended or would agree that they legalized attempts to intimidate the judiciary. They did not make the judiciary extremely powerful in order for baying mobs to get the verdicts they want via force of arms.

      CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | May 8, 2022 at 10:48 am

      This isn’t a free speech issue so much as one of assembly. Restrictions on location of the assembly and the type of assembly are ok. As an example, an anti nuke org wouldn’t be allowed to assemble at a missile silo. They could do so outside the gate but that would also have restrictions; they couldn’t impede traffic or interfere with security protocols.

      Same for this statute. The assembly in a residential neighborhood would be subject to compliance with permitting requirements, noise ordinance, parking, no standing in place on a sidewalk or street and so on at a minimum. One event might be ok, a continued succession of daily/nightly of events can be inferred as attempting to influence which would be illegal.

      Ironclaw in reply to Milhouse. | May 8, 2022 at 1:38 pm

      How could a law against intimidating judges and juries possibly be found unconstitutional?

      txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | May 8, 2022 at 2:40 pm

      But it is law: 18 U.S. Code § 1507.

makes an excellent point about how hypocritical Democrats and the left are in constantly hammering the myriad “threats to our Democracy” they see under every rock and around every corner

In this respect they aren’t hypocrites, they’re liars. “Our democracy”, as used here, is not a literal phrase but a term of art. It’s Newspeak, a democracy in name only. Anything that impedes its ascendance is therefore a “threat to our Democracy”.