Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, expressed ‘disappointment’ that Americans are more interested in their iPhones than the Constitution, a new book claims.
The George HW Bush nominee to the highest court bemoaned the lack of engagement in law and politics among the US public.
The judge was interviewed by Michael Pack for more than 30 hours between November 2017 and March 2018 for the book Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, co-edited by Mark Paoletta.
Thomas said: ‘I think we as citizens have lost interest and that’s been my disappointment.
‘That certainly was something that bothered Justice Scalia, that people tend to be more interested in their iPhones than their Constitution. They’re interested in what they want rather than what is right as a country.’
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas previously expressed ‘disappointment’ that Americans are more interested in their iPhones than the Constitution
Pack asked Thomas if this lack of interest was a ‘burden for the Supreme Court’.
He replied, according to Insider: ‘No, it’s a burden on them, the citizens. They’re going to lose their liberties.’
The longest-serving member of the Supreme Court added that the nine-member body is only ‘one part of the effort’ to protect civil liberties.
He said: ‘You protect your liberty. It’s your country. We are one part of the effort, and it is the obligation of the citizens to at least know what their liberties are and to be informed.
‘I think we are allowing ourselves to be ruled when we turn all that over to someone else and we’re saying, “Rule me.”
‘Does it mean we get to make all the decisions? No. We have a system for doing that, but a part of that is our role in it, and our informed role in it, not what is said on TV, not what is said by some half-informed person.’
Abortion-rights activists march toward the White House following the controversial Supreme Court decision
Protesters march in Washington DC after Roe v. Wade was overturned, sparking fury among pro-choice groups
Thomas has come under fire for his role in the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing individual states to decide whether to outlaw abortion.
Actor Samuel L Jackson dubbed him ‘Uncle Clarence’ after the conservative justice wrote an opinion defending the court’s decision – and suggested using the logic to overturn other landmark decisions.
‘Uncle Clarence’ is an apparent reference to the eponymous character of abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, who was widely seen as compliant and subservient to his white masters.
In his tweet on Saturday, the Marvel Cinematic Universe actor wrote: ‘How’s Uncle Clarence feeling about overturning Loving v Virginia??!!’
The 1967 case declared that state bans on interracial marriages violated the Equal Process Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
The decision apparently led to Thomas getting married to Virginia Lamp, a white woman, 20 years later.
But in his opinion defending the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade on Friday, and eliminate a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion, Thomas suggested the court should consider overturning other landmark decisions.
Renowned actor Samuel L Jackson, left, accused conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of being an ‘Uncle Clarence’ following his opinion supporting the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade
Thomas was married to Virginia Lamp, a white woman, in 1987 – 20 years after the landmark Loving v Virginia case which allowed for interracial marriage
The Marvel Cinematic Universe actor asked Thomas how he feels about overturning that decision after he called for the court to ‘reconsider’ other decisions using the same premise
The 74-year-old conservative judge – the only black man on the Supreme Court – called for his colleagues to ‘reconsider’ and potentially overturn other cases decided on the legal authority of ‘substantive due process.’
Substantive due process refers to the idea that people have fundamental rights that are not specifically laid out in the Constitution – and was the basis for a number of landmark cases including Loving v Virginia.
‘In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell,’ Thomas wrote.
He was specifically referring to the 1965 Griswold v Connecticut decision, which allows married couples to access birth control; and the 2003 Lawrence v Texas decision, which forbids states from outlawing consensual gay sex.
That decision ultimately led up to the 2015 Obergefell v Hodges decision that established a Constitutional right to gay marriage.
The Obergefell case also rested on the precedent of the Loving decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled: ‘There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.’
Still, Thomas notably did not mention the Loving case as one he thought the court should overturn.
The Supreme Court ruled in the Loving v Virginia decision that ‘There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.’ The decision allowed for the marriage of Richard Perry Loving, right, and his wife, Mildred, left
Thomas was one of five Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn the Roe v Wade decision on Friday, which granted women a constitutional right to an abortion
With his tweet on Saturday, Samuel L Jackson joined the ranks of celebrities speaking out against Friday’s Supreme Court decision rolling back nearly five decades of a women’s right to get an abortion.
It will now be up to each individual state to determine whether to legalize gay marriage, and at least 18 states have now banned abortions – and the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research group, has said that 26 states are ‘certain or likely’ to ban the procedure.
The justices held that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortions performed before a fetus would be viable outside the womb – between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy – was wrongly decided because the U.S. Constitution makes no specific mention of abortion rights.
The decision means that women with unwanted pregnancies in large swathes of America will now face the choice of traveling to another state where the procedure remains legal and available, buying abortion pills online or having a potentially dangerous illegal abortion.
In an address at the White House, President Joe Biden said it was ‘a sad day for the court and the country’ and called the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – and making terminations illegal for millions of American women – ‘wrong, extreme and out of touch’.
Accusing the court of ‘expressly taking away a constitution right that is so fundamental to so many Americans’, Biden vowed the fight over abortion rights ‘is not over’ and said his administration will do everything in its power to combat efforts to restrict women from traveling to other states to obtain abortions.
The decision was met with widespread protests across the United States.
Hundreds of demonstrators descended on the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on Friday and Saturday to denounce the justices’ decision. The fenced-off area in front of the high court was filled largely with those demanding abortion rights.
Crowds carried posters with slogans such as ‘Abort SCOTUS.’ One protester carried a placard that said ‘limit guns, not women’ in reference to another Supreme Court decision this week expanding gun rights.
The Arizona Capitol building was besieged by pro-abortion protesters Friday night, forcing riot cops to fire tear gas to disperse the angry crowd.
Protesters in South Carolina clashed with police on Saturday when hundreds overcrowded the streets and six people were arrested by police.
And in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday night, a group of protesters smashed windows and vandalized several buildings.
Dozens were arrested in New York City and Los Angeles over the weekend as demonstrators flooded the downtown streets.
A protester lights a cigarette on a burning American Flag while marching with abortion-rights activists in DC on Friday
Hundreds of demonstrators descended on the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on Friday and Saturday (pictured) to denounce the justices’ decision
Scrawled in black and red spray paint on one building in Portland was: ‘Death to SCOTUS.’ Another message read: ‘Abort the Court’ (pictured) Protesters posed with the graffiti
On day three of the protests this weekend, emotional protests and prayer vigils turned to resolve as several states enacted bans and both supporters and opponents of abortion rights mapped out their next move.
As of Sunday, most of the Roe protests had remained peaceful apart from a pickup truck that drove through a group of demonstrators in Cedar Rapids, running over a woman’s foot.
Meantime, women have launched social media campaigns for ‘sex strikes’ in which they are threatening to withhold sex from men ‘until abortion rights are federal law.’
‘Women of America: Take the pledge. Because SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, we cannot take the risk of an unintended pregnancy, therefore, we will not have sex with any man — including our husbands — unless we are trying to become pregnant,’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘I live in New York and I am DOUBLE FURIOUS with the Supreme Court. I want to find people who are coordinating a mass sex strike. That is our power,’ another woman raged. ‘Women have the power here. No more sex until abortion rights are federal law.’
There were also calls for ‘sex strike’ across the country as terms including #SexStrike and #abstinence began trending online.