CNN Upset Thomas Tells People To Accept SCOTUS Rulings They Don’t Like

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told an Atlanta audience that people need to accept outcomes they don’t like and CNN’s Don Lemon and senior legal analyst Preet Bharara were not happy about it.

Lemon began by declaring that “many see” the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade as “as starkly political and anti-precedent,” and wondered “What has this week done to the Court? What is—what is going on here? Give us the big picture.”



There are many people who do. Not see it that way, but Bharara does and after predicting the draft will be the final opinion, took aim at Thomas’s remarks, “we had Justice Clarence Thomas saying, in the last day, I think maybe even it was today, that people need to get used to accepting outcomes. And that’s — that’s a good statement as far as it goes, if you are detached from history or you’re speaking in a vacuum.”

Acceptance not accepted Roe’s overthrowing could be justified because, “when you have an outcome that people think is tainted in some way because there was cheating in some way, or bad faith in some way, or the methodology, or the arguments made in favor of the outcome are things that are unusual and perhaps even unprecedented in constitutional history, then people have a harder time dealing with the outcome.”

Who are these people? How bad is it? What’s wrong with the methodology? What’s unprecedented? Bharara didn’t say. Showing the necessity of Thomas’s comments, Bharara then said if the Court doesn’t rule the way he wants, it deserves to have its loss of trust, “So, I think you’re correct to say as others have been saying, that there is going to be a reduction in the trust and faith and respect people have for the Court. It’s been on the slide for a while now, I think approval of the Supreme Court some years ago is about 60 percent, now it’s 40 percent and below, and it’s going to get worse.”

Despite Alito’s draft opinion stating otherwise and no state legislature moving to ban “other rights,” Bharara fear-mongered, “the door is opened if that opinion stands to the withdrawal and taking away of other rights.”

Lemon then returned to add “And he is saying that the government institutions should be quote, shouldn’t be quote, ‘bullied into delivering what some see as a preferred outcome,” and added that ‘you cannot have a free society without stable institutions.’ So, I mean, is the Supreme Court being bullied? That’s quite an accusation on his part.”

Bharara then tried to claim that one’s First Amendment right to disagree with Court is not bullying, as if that is all the leaker did. Still, Bharara claimed that Thomas’s comments were ironic because pro-lifers and “the Federalist Society” are the real bullies for challenging Roe, “cheating Merrick Garland out of a seat” and by confirming Amy Coney Barrett.

However, they were both in normal order and the legality of abortion was not affected by those difficulties.

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The transcript of the May 6, 2009 show is available here:

CNN Don Lemon Tonight


10:00 PM ET

DON LEMON: We received this extraordinary leak last week. It was a draft of a decision that many consider to be starkly political. Senators claim the justices have misled or made fraud accusations. Now, an investigation is underway. A country is now wondering about what the next steps are. How has the Court been affected by this week? What is—what is going on here? Let’s get the bigger picture.

PREET BHARARA: Well, it’s obviously an earthquake that we’re being told is about to happen. It’s also a draft opinion, which is a strange thing. It’s not final, Chief Justice John Roberts stressed. They will not be bullied, the Court also stated. Sam Alito stated that within the last two days and we can assume that this will be the decision. However, we are not certain.

Justice Sam Alito said, and I’m sorry Justice Clarence Thomas also stated that in the final day of proceedings, it seemed like today. People need to accept outcomes. It’s good, as long as you don’t get detached from history.

People have difficulty coping with an outcome when they believe it is flawed. You might even put that quote up.

It is especially ironic that Clarence Thomas speaks out when it comes to the electoral outcome. This election in 2020 was the most controversial because Clarence Thomas’s wife, Clarence Thomas, communicated with people about January 6th and is a supporter of the big lie.

So, I think you’re correct to say as others have been saying, that there is going to be a reduction in the trust and faith and respect people have for the Court. This has been happening for some time now. I believe approval of Supreme Court is now at 40 percent or below. It will get worse.

Clarence Thomas said that the second thing you need to know about outcomes is that when you make an outcome that creates the basis and allows for bad outcomes as Emily Bazelon discussed, it’s going to cause people to not wish to follow this particular outcome. Roe v. Wade.

This opinion is based on the logic of that opinion, which I understand some people have a discussion about intellectually and academically. But the door will be open if the opinion calls for the withdrawal or taking away other rights. It’s easy to state in a speech that individuals should adhere to outcomes. But it is not the way it actually works or practice when it has been this way.

LEMON: We’ll talk about Clarence Thomas. And exactly where he is. Preet, he was speaking at Atlanta’s judicial conference. He said that government institutions shouldn’t quote or should not be quoted, and that they were “bullied” into producing what others see as the preferred outcome.

Does the Supreme Court feel bullied, then? This is a very serious accusation.

BHARARA – No. People — I believe that the Constitution (referring to the Supreme Court, Constitution) contains an amendment. This is the first and most people can express their dismay at Supreme Court decisions. It works that way.

It is ironic because it has many ironies. However, one of the ironic aspects about Thomas statements, regarding accepting outcomes and not getting bullied, was to think of how conservatives reacted — that anti-abortion reaction. RoeFor 49 years. How accepting were they? Did they accept it? They didn’t resort to bullying the Court.

LEMON: Right.

BHARARA : And by enabling Merrick Garland to be deprived of his seat at the Supreme Court through the Federalist Society. Then they rushed Amy Coney Barrett to get a seat on Court, when it was only days until the election. Did they accept the results in Roe v. Wade? They didn’t. It’s absurdity at its best for such a statement.

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