Thomas says Supreme Court won't be 'bullied,' amid protests on pending decision on abortion case

Thomas made the comment in speech Friday in which he reportedly made only a few passing references to this week's protests.

Updated: May 7, 2022 - 11:42pm

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Justice Clarence Thomas says the Supreme Court won't be "bullied," amid recent protests, including those outside of justices' homes, following the leak of a draft opinion that indicates a likely ruling by the high court's conservative majority on a pending case that will also effectively overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling. 

As a society, "we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don't like," Thomas, among the high court's most conservative justices, said Friday at a judicial conference in Atlanta. "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."

However, in the speech Thomas made only a few passing references to the protests over the leaked draft opinion, according to Reuters.

The leak Monday in a Politico story ignited a political firestorm, with abortion-rights supporters staging rallies outside the courthouses and other pubic squares across the country.

The entire block around the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., has been closed off by police. And pro-abortion activists are calling for protests inside of Catholic churches on Mother's Day, which is Sunday. 

The draft opinion was written by fellow conservative Justice Samuel Alito. The Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority. The opinion would uphold a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that gives women a constitutional right to having an abortion, Reuters also reports.

The court has confirmed the authenticity of the draft document but called it preliminary. The court is due to issue its ruling in the case by the end of June.

Alito on Friday canceled his appearance at another court conference.