Thomas has been the subject of scrutiny from progressive reporters and pundits on numerous occasions.
In February, the Washington Post was forced to issue a “clarification” after a news article said that Thomas’ thinking was similar to that of a “White conservative.” They updated the piece to note his thoughts were similar to that of conservatives, rather than White conservatives, specifically.
In another notable example, MSNBC host Joy Reid sparked outrage after she called Thomas “Uncle Clarence,” an unsubtle reference to the “Uncle Tom” slur, during the 2020 election night coverage.
“I think what scares people is that if [Trump] decides to do something that legally makes no sense… but if they somehow manage to stumble into the Supreme Court, do any of you guys trust Uncle Clarence and Amy Coney Barrett and those guys to actually follow the letter of the law?” she asked.
Reid has also used the “Uncle Clarence” phrase on more than one occasion on Twitter.
ABC’s “The View,” CNN, The Boston Globe and numerous other media organizations have ridiculed Thomas, often referencing his race in the process.
On Friday, during a discussion on racial inequality and the Supreme Court at the Old Park conference, Thomas decided to hit back on his critics in the media.
“One of the things I’d say in response to the media is when they talk about, especially early on, about the way I did my job, I said ‘I will absolutely leave the court when I do my job as poorly as you do yours—and that was meant as a compliment really,” Thomas said, as the audience, and forme Bush administration official John C. Yoo burst out laughing.
“It really is good to be me—it really is,” Thomas added moments later.
Thomas has been outspoken since a leaked draft opinion on Roe v Wade came to light earlier this month. On May 14, the same day Thomas made his comments on C-SPAN, the Supreme Court justice said that the leak has fundamentally altered the judicial body.
“I do think that what happened at the court is tremendously bad… I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them,” Thomas said.
He added that a loss of trust in the Supreme Court is the “kind of infidelity” that is impossible to undo. Thomas is the longest-tenured member of the Supreme Court, having served since 1991.
Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.