Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had some stunning things to say about her high court colleague, Clarence Thomas, at a speaking event in Chicago this week.
Indeed, her remarks are instructive for liberals who tend to unload on Thomas over his decisions.
“I have disagreed with Thomas more than with any other justice. Which means we don’t come together on many cases. And yet I can tell you that I spend time with him, understanding that he is one of the few justices who knows practically everybody in our building,” she said, according to a copy of her remarks posted online.
“He knows their name, he knows the things about their life, what their family is suffering. He’ll tell me, you know that person’s wife is sick right now, or that person’s child is having difficulty. There’s no other justice who does that. I try, but he does it better. He cares about people,” Sotomayor continued.
“Now, he cares on legal interests differently. And he sees those legal issues much differently than I do. I tell people, you know Clarence believes, just like him, because he grew up very, very poor, that everyone is capable of picking themselves up by their bootstraps,” she added.
“I understand that some people can’t reach their bootstraps. That’s a fundamental difference in how we view what the law can or should or does do for people. But I can appreciate him,” she added.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor did a talk in Chicago tonight hosted by Roosevelt University. She was asked how she maintains relationships with judges she disagrees with — Clarence Thomas, in particular. Here’s what she said: pic.twitter.com/jCy3J0eoEy
— Eric Bradner (@ericbradner) October 21, 2022
Georgetown University Law School professor and constitutional expert Jonathan Turley added: “I have recounted similar accounts of Thomas as a long-standing professor at our law school before a cancel campaign and his withdrawal to the great loss of our students.
“He was known as someone who took personal interest in his students and has helped many young lawyers in their careers,” Turley said. “Yet, some faculty members and students celebrated his resignation as a triumph. What is most distressing is the participation of journalists and law professors in this unhinged rage.
“Despite the recent attempted assassination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an editor wrote about his fantasy of the death of Justice Samuel Alito. As protesters descended on the homes of justices, Georgetown Law Professor Josh Chafetz declared that “when the mob is right, some (but not all!) more aggressive tactics are justified,” Turley continued.
“Most recently, the dean and chancellor of University of California Hastings College of the Law David Faigman questioned the very legitimacy of the Court after the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“Sotomayor’s words will likely be ignored by most critics and the personal attacks on the justices will not only continue but increase with another term brimming with major challenges in areas like voting rights and affirmative action,” he said.