May 14, 2022
'I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions': Justice Thomas warns that leak of abortion draft judgment could herald the END of the Supreme Court as he suggests leak came from clerk and takes dig at recent appointees
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Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday compared the leak of fellow Justice's Samuel Alito's draft opinion regarding Roe v Wade to 'infidelity.'
Thomas, 73, said that the leak would weaken the public's trust in the Supreme Court as an institution.
He told host John Yoo that the leak from the Supreme Court was 'tremendously bad.'
Thomas pondered: 'I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them and then I wonder when they’re gone or destabilized what we will have as a country and I don’t think the prospects are good if we continue to lose them.'
He continued: 'When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I'm in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It's like kind of an infidelity – that you can explain it but you can't undo it,' reports Politico.
Thomas was speaking at the Old Parkland Conference, a meeting of black conservatives, in Dallas where he was Friday's keynote speaker. Following his speech, Thomas sat for a questions and answers session with John Yoo of Berkeley Law School.
He also hinted that the atmosphere on the court had changed for the worse since he was confirmed in 1991, and suggested that a liberal justice's clerk could be behind the leak.
Thomas said: 'This is not the court of that era. I sat with (famously liberal justice) Ruth Ginsburg for almost 30 years and she was actually an easy colleague to deal with... We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.'
'Anybody who would, for example, have an attitude to leak documents, that is your general attitude, that is your future on the bench.'
Thomas during his question and answer session at the Old Parkland Conference with John Yoo of Berkeley Law School
During his appearance, Thomas said: 'I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them and then I wonder when they’re gone or destabilized what we will have as a country and I don’t think the prospects are good if we continue to lose them'
The Supreme Court Justices are pictured, with the court currently comprised of six conservatives and three liberals
Politico first reported on the leak of Alito's draft opinion, an opinion that was the biggest indication yet that the conservative leaning court could overturn a constitutional right to abortion that has been in place since an earlier 1973 ruling.
Six of the court's nine justices are conservatives, and five of them - all bar John Roberts - are believed to be in favor of overturning Roe, meaning the federal right to an abortion will almost certainly soon be scrapped.
The leak went on to prompt nationwide protests, including angry crowds outside of the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices.
The George H.W. Bush appointee said that conservatives 'would never visit Supreme Court justice[s’] houses when things didn’t go our way' and that they don't 'throw temper tantrums.
Thomas put into context the gravity of the leak saying: 'If someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone, and you would say that, 'Oh, that's impossible. No one would ever do that.' He described the idea of a leak as 'verboten.'
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the leak was authentic but said that it was not the court's final position on the issue of Mississippi's ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Speaking at the conference, Thomas did not mention any of his colleagues by name when speaking about the leak.
Thomas said that conservatives would never 'throw temper tantrums' if they didn't like a Supreme Court ruling
Thomas' comments come a day after Justice Samuel Alito was asked about the leak during an appearance at George Mason University. Alito dodged the question, answering by the saying that it was business as usual within the court, reports The Washington Post.
Famously, it was at the same conference of black conservatives in 1980 when Thomas relayed the audience with one of his most anecdotes when he spoke about his sister who was on welfare.
Thomas, who was then an aide to Republican Senator John Danforth, said of his sister: 'She gets mad when the mailman is late with her welfare check. That is how dependent she is. What's worse is that now her kids feel entitled to the check too. They have no motivation for doing better or getting out of that situation,' reported The Atlantic.Justice Clarence Thomas: A brief history
Justice Clarence Thomas was born on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia in 1948, where was he raised in part by his maternal grandparents
Thomas got his law degree from Yale. After graduation, he said that law firms didn't take him seriously because they believed his degree was down to affirmative action.
In 1974, Thomas went to work for the Attorney General of Missouri's office under John Danforth.
Thomas was appointed for a role in the Department of Education by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
In 1989, President George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas for the court of appeals. He was confirmed in 1990.
Thomas was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in July 1991 following the retirement of Justice Thurgood Marshall
Despite sexual assault allegations made against him, Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1991.
Since then, Thomas has gained a reputation as one of if not they most conservative member of the court.
Thomas has been married to his second-wife Virginia Lamp since 1987.
Lamp, a conservative activist, attracted controversy in 2022 when it was widely reported that she interacted with President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, encouraging him to push voter fraud conspiracy theories.
News Source: dailymail.co.uk
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Prince William supervisors dig in on Comprehensive Plan update
This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.
Prince William County planners appear willing to back off proposed changes to rural areas in a potential win for conservationists.
The Board of Supervisors held its first extensive work session on updates to the county’s Comprehensive Plan during its meeting Tuesday.
The Comprehensive Plan is a guiding document for county land-use policies. While not committing the Board of County Supervisors to any decisions, it declares the county’s vision for future development.
The initially proposed revisions could threaten what’s known as the “rural crescent” – roughly 117,000 acres restricted to no more than one home for every 10 acres with strict prohibitions on the expansion of public sewer lines.
The majority of the county’s rural area is designated in the existing long-range land-use map as agricultural estate. The draft documents call for replacing that designation with agricultural and forestry, which would allow up to one home per five acres rather than one home per 10 acres.
While most of Tuesday’s work session focused on supervisors’ specific changes to the plan for their districts, the main point of contention came around the rural area.
Acting Planning Director Rebecca Horner said county staff supports reverting to the existing rules because the proposal wouldn’t achieve the county’s conservation goals.
Chair Ann Wheeler, D-At-Large, did not support one house per 10 acres or one house per five acres, saying it was “exclusionary zoning.”
“You can only build McMansions on it,” she said. “The lot itself is so expensive that people tend to build larger homes on it.”
Wheeler also said the increased density, without allowing public sewer, would increase the number of wells and septic tanks in the rural area, which is worse for the environment.
The disagreements came as the board was discussing density in the Vint Hill Road area.
Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, didn’t “buy [the] premise that it’s exclusionary.” She said clustering leads to sprawl.
“I don’t think that 10-acre lots are a problem,” she said. “I’m going to keep with my commitment to keep sewer out of the Vint Hill corridor.”
Wheeler supported allowing residential clustering in the area, which allows higher density and connections to existing power lines as long as 60% of the property is conserved as open space.
She said allowing one home per five acres would only lead to large plots being subdivided into five-acre lots with less conservation, which she called “egregious.” She said denying public sewer access, “something that’s been around since Roman times,” is “not appropriate.”
“I think clustering is the opposite of sprawl,” Wheeler said. “I think 10-acre lots is actually sprawl.”
Lawson said she and Wheeler need to hold a town hall in the area to hear from residents, which Wheeler seemed to interpret as a political ploy.
“You can always turn out people to say you don’t want development out there,” Wheeler said. “It’s our hard decision to say where we want to have growth.”
Lawson said, “I just think we owe it to the community to hear what they have to say.”
Wheeler eventually said “sure” to the town hall, but the spat continued.
“I know the people you’ll turn out. I know what you’ll do,” Wheeler said. “I’ve seen the emails you’ve sent out about people turning out to fight things.”
Lawson replied, “Madam chair, please don’t go there … I think we can have a civil town hall.”
The board discussed changes in various areas and generally offered suggestions. Supervisors advocated for more focus on affordable housing and a variety of housing options.
“Right now, we’re looking at a housing market that’s unsustainable,” said Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville. “I wouldn’t be able to afford the last two homes I lived in in Prince William County today.”
Candland and Wheeler advocated for revisions throughout the plan in some commercial districts to remove residential requirements where they didn’t make sense.
“I know we want mixed-use, but sometimes that’s not practical,” Wheeler said.
Supervisors Margaret Franklin, D-Woodbridge, and Andrea Bailey, D-Potomac, called for redevelopment of shopping centers along U.S. 1 and revitalization of historic areas, such as Batestown.
Bailey also said the area around U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico needs a hotel, conference center and a grocery store.
County officials expect to provide the board with an updated version of the plan in around six weeks.