Here’s some bad news for the left: Clarence Thomas isn’t going anywhere.
The rumors of Clarence Thomas’s retirement are just that, as the 70-year old on Monday dismissed gossip that he is planning to step down from the Supreme Court, saying he has “no idea” where the speculation originated.
Thomas puts rumors to rest
Thomas confirmed that unverified claims that he was planning to retire are in fact false. The judge was in a spirited, humorous mood as he discussed the unfounded speculation.
“One of the things you have to get used to in this business … is that people can say things about you and for you that have nothing to do with you,” Thomas said at an event hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society.
Thomas told a crowd at Pepperdine University in April that he’s not retiring and that he will remain for another 20 or 30 years if he can help it
Thomas became the court’s longest serving judge after the 82-year old Anthony Kennedy, the former swing vote, stepped down last summer. If he stays, Thomas will become the longest serving judge in 2028, when he turns 80. The oldest justice currently sitting on the high court is 86-year old Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Not slowing down
Thomas certainly causes stress for the left. The judge has long been a target of progressives’ ire because of his strong Christian and pro-Constitution beliefs.
The judge certainly didn’t seem to have retirement on his mind when he issued a 20-page screed to supplement the Supreme Court’s opinion in an abortion ruling last week. The court authored a short opinion upholding part of an Indiana law that requires aborted babies to be buried or cremated rather than disposed like medical waste, while at the same time sidestepping the law’s ban on abortion to select for traits like sex, race, and disability.
With graceful vehemence, Thomas slammed Planned Parenthood and described its relationship with the eugenics movement, as he warned that the Supreme Court would eventually have to re-visit bigger questions about the constitutional right to abortion that was erroneously established by Roe V. Wade.
“Although the court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this court is dutybound to address its scope,” the justice said.
Ready for the fight
Thomas’ blistering opinion erased any doubts that he plans to stick around long enough to overturn Roe. Indeed, it’s hard to see the rationale in Thomas retiring when his career just seems to be reaching a peak.
On the one hand, Thomas’s retirement would let Trump safely nominate another conservative to the court for life — most likely Amy Coney Barrett — further solidifying the Supreme Court’s rightward shift. But Thomas’s departure would also remove the court’s strongest, most fearless conservative mind from the bench.
In a time when infanticide is openly discussed and embraced by a major political party, America can’t afford to lose a Supreme Court judge of Thomas’s passionate conviction. Good thing he isn’t leaving anytime soon.