The ideological left has refused to accept the fact that Republicans generally hold a 6-3 advantage on the U.S. Supreme Court and many on the left have sought to counter that by radically “packing” the court with additional new liberal justices.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, however, said recently that even mere talk of doing so from the left was damaging to the court’s credibility and risked politicizing the ostensibly nonpartisan institution, the Associated Press reported.
Those assertions from Thomas came during a speech he delivered Friday in Salt Lake City, Utah at an event hosted by former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), in which the court’s most-senior justice also decried the growing trends of “cancel culture” and lack of civil debate.
Leftist talk of “court-packing” is institutionally damaging
“You can cavalierly talk about packing or stacking the court. You can cavalierly talk about doing this or doing that. At some point, the institution is going to be compromised,” Thomas told the gathered crowd of about 500 people, ABC News reported.
“By doing this, you continue to chip away at the respect of the institutions that the next generation is going to need if they’re going to have civil society,” he added.
Democrats and leftist activists began calling for “court-packing” in recent years after former President Donald Trump was able to nominate three new conservative-leaning justices, creating the current 6-3 Republican-appointed majority. Some even filed legislation that would explicitly add four new Democrat-appointed justices to the court to create a 7-6 balance in favor of the left.
Yet, while President Joe Biden has seemed cool to the idea, he nonetheless established a special commission to study that idea as well as other proposed reforms for the Supreme Court and federal judiciary more broadly, the AP noted.
“Cancel culture” vs. civil debate
“I’m afraid, particularly in this world of cancel culture attack, I don’t know where you’re going to learn to engage as we did when I grew up,” Thomas said at another point in his remarks in lament of the increased lack of civil debate, according to ABC.
“If you don’t learn at that level in high school, in grammar school, in your neighborhood, or in civic organizations, then how do you have it when you’re making decisions in government, in the legislature, or in the courts?” he added.
Along those lines, he highlighted the highly critical manner in which the mainstream media reported on himself and his wife, longtime conservative activist Ginni Thomas, as well as others, such as late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Media outcry against Thomas compared to media silence for Ginsburg for the same situation
The Washington Examiner reported that the media has in recent months demanded that Thomas recuse himself from certain cases due to his wife’s association with a law firm that routinely files briefs with the Supreme Court regarding certain cases under consideration.
However, the Examiner pointed out that there was never any similar media outcry for late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to similarly recuse herself even though her husband had also worked at a law firm that routinely argued cases or submitted briefs before the high court.