Thomas tells protestors they won't influence final ruling on abortion

Posted 52 days ago

From WWW.DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

Following protests sparked by the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision indicating the justices are poised to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas said on Friday that the court cannot be 'bullied.'

The leak set off a political firestorm, with abortion-rights supporters staging rallies outside the courthouse and at locations around the United States, as well as an internal crisis at the nation's top judicial body where an investigation into the source of the unprecedented disclosure is underway.

Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the nine-member court, made only a few passing references to the protests over the leaked draft opinion as he spoke at a judicial conference in Atlanta.

As a society, 'we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don't like,' Thomas said.

'We can't be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that.'

Police have surrounded the court with tall black fencing following the protests, which have been peaceful.

The court confirmed the authenticity of the document but called it preliminary. The court is due to issue its ruling in the case by the end of June.

The Roe v. Wade decision nearly 50 years ago recognized that the right to personal privacy under the US Constitution protects a woman's ability to terminate her pregnancy. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court decided that the constitutional right to privacy applied to abortion.Roe was 'Jane Roe,' a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey, a single mother pregnant for the third time, who wanted an abortion.She sued the Dallas attorney general Henry Wade over a Texas law that made it a crime to terminate a pregnancy except in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother's life was in danger.Roe's lawyers said she was unable to travel out of the state to obtain an abortion and argued that the law was too vague and infringed on her constitutional rights.Filing a complaint alongside her was Texas doctor James Hallford, who argued the law's medical provision was vague, and that he was unable to reliably determine which of his patients fell into the allowed category.The 'Does', another couple who were childless, also filed a companion complaint, saying that medical risks made it unsafe but not life-threatening for the wife to carry a pregnancy to term, and arguing they should be able to obtain a safe, legal abortion should she become pregnant.The trio of complaints - from a woman who wanted an abortion, a doctor who wanted to perform them and a non-pregnant woman who wanted the right if the need arose - ultimately reached the nation's top court.The court heard arguments twice, and then waited until after Republican president Richard Nixon's re-election, in November 1972.Only the following January did it offer its historic seven-to-two decision - overturning the Texas laws and setting a legal precedent that has had ramifications in all 50 states.

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