- Thomas in a new book said that Americans have seemingly “lost interest” in constitutional matters.
- “They’re interested in what they want rather than what is right as a country,” he said in the book.
- Thomas said Scalia shared similar sentiments with him about the lack of urgency in protecting liberties.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in a new book expressed “disappointment” that more Americans aren’t more attuned to the Constitution and remaining vigilant about the protection of liberties.
In the book“Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” co-edited by Michael Pack and Mark Paoletta, Thomas was interviewed by Pack for over 30 hours between November 2017 and March 2018, in what became an expanded companion to the 2020 documentary of the same name.
During the conversation, Thomas said that people are seemingly less attentive to the Constitution.
“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,” he said.
When Pack asked if the loss of interest among the general population is “a burden for the Supreme Court,” Thomas disagreed.
“No, it’s a burden on them, the citizens,” he said. “They’re going to lose their liberties.”
When Thomas was asked if the Supreme Court served to protect liberties, he said the nine-member body was only “one part of the effort.”
“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,” he said.
He added: “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.”
Last week, Thomas played a key role in overturning Roe v. Wade — the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States and afforded a constitutional right to the procedure.
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled 6-3 to uphold a Mississippi abortion ban, while voting 5-4 to overturn Roe.
The decision over abortion rights now rests with the states; 13 states had “trigger laws” in place that effectively banned abortion procedures immediately after the court overturned Roe.
Thomas in his concurring opinion wrote that the court should “reconsider” prior rulings on contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage in making the case that cases involving the 14th Amendment’s due process clause needed to be reviewed.