Someone call the waaambulance:
Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that the judiciary is threatened if people are unwilling to “live with outcomes we don’t agree with” and that recent events at the Supreme Court might be “one symptom of that.”
Thomas, speaking to judges and lawyers at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, did not speak directly about the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, a colossal breach of the court’s procedures.
But he referred a couple of times to the “unfortunate events” of the past week, and in a question-and-answer session led by a former clerk, he said he worried about declining respect for institutions and the rule of law.
“It bodes ill for a free society,” he said. It can’t be that institutions “give you only the outcome you want, or can be bullied” to do the same, he said.
The court’s longest-serving justice said he also worried about a “different attitude of the young” that might not show the same respect for the law as past generations did. “Recent events have shown this major change,” he said.
These young people today! You can’t even have your wife help plan an insurrection against a legitimately elected president over $5,000 bottles of Burgandy without undermining your institutional authority anymore!
It is understandable that the Republican supermajority has decided to hang a confederate flag on the Court and let ‘er rip. It’s now very clear that there will not be effective retaliation against the Court for the rest of Thomas’s lifetime and probably well beyond. But it’s also evident from their continual pissy public statements that quintessential Republican special snowflakes Thomas and Alito think that they should be able to turn the Supreme Court into the executive committee of the Freedom Caucus while its broad legitimacy among the general public is maintained. And THAT is not going to happen. You can overrule Roe with an opinion that is particularly stupid when dismissing the obvious reliance interests it has created, but you cannot make people like it.