Of all the members of the high court
, Thomas has made his views on Roe v
. Wade, die 1973 case that legalized abortion across the US
, crystal clear
. In 2007, he said that he believed that Roe and the follow-up decision called Planned Parenthood v
. Casey had
“no basis in the Constitution.
” En in 2020, he said that Roe is
“grievously wrong for many reasons
, but the most fundamental is that its core holding
— that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to abort her unborn child
— finds no support in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment
Some of those in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party see adding seats to the court as the only way to protect landmark decisions like Roe.
Although he did not directly address the issue of so-called court packing
, Thomas seemed to nod to the controversy
“We have lost the capacity” as leaders “to not allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcomes that we like,” hy het gesê.
Thomas, appointed by then-President George H.W. Bos in 1991, is currently the longest-serving justice. Noting his 30 years on the bench, Thomas said Thursday that while the institution may be flawed, it works.
“I think we should be careful destroying our institutions because they don’t give us what we want when we want it,” hy het gesê. “I think we should be really, really careful.”
The 73-year-old justice dedicated the bulk of his lecture to the Declaration of Independence, weaving in his own personal story of growing up in the segregated South. Despite the pervasive racism, hy het gesê, he was taught about the value of equality.
“I am a product of the state of Georgia,” hy het gesê, adding that he had grown up in a world that was “quite different than the world of today.” In the 1950s and 1960s, hy het gesê, daar was “quotidian and pervasive segregation and race-based laws, which were repulsive and at odds with the principles” of the country.”
But despite that, Thomas said, in his community there was also a focus on a “deep and abiding” love for the country and a “firm desire to have the rights and the responsibilities of full citizenship regardless of how society treated us.”
Having grown up knowing he was “a child of God,” Thomas said, daar is “no force on this Earth that can make me any less than a man of equal dignity and equal worth.”
“This accepted truth reinforced our proper roles as equal citizens, not the perversely distorted and reduced role offered us by Jim Crow — a role that is not unlike the reduced but apparently more palatable image of Blacks that is bandied about or assigned to us today,” hy het gesê.
Thomas’ lecture follows public appearances from other justices ahead of the court’s new term
, including Justice Stephen Breyer
, who has been promoting a new book
, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett
, wat onlangs delivered a speech at the University of Louisville