SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas said efforts to raise the amount of justices may harm the integrity of the court and made his concern known about the possible long-term consequences that cancel culture may have on civil debate.
Speaking in Utah this week at an event hosted by former Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch’s foundation, Clarence Thomas decried the progressive pressure to expand the Supreme Court.
“You can casually talk about stacking or packing the court. You can casually talk about doing that or doing this. Eventually the institution will be compromised,” Thomas stated, according to The Associated Press.
“By doing this, you will continue chipping away at the respect for government institutions that the next generation will need if they are going to have a civil society,” he continued.
Several progressive Dems warned of an expansion of the United States Supreme Court following the Sept. 2020 death of Justice Ginsburg about the concern that Trump would nominate her replacement before the presidential election, which was under two months away. Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s fast confirmation just prior to the 2020 election solidified the 6-3 conservative majority on the bench.
The pressure by Dems. to expand the Supreme Court continued after Pres. Joe Biden took office in Jan. 2021.
Last spring, Dems. introduced legislation to put four additional justices on the bench and Joe Biden made a commission to examine potential court reform and expansion.
In Dec., the commission unanimously voted to take “no position” on packing the court, saying that there is “profound disagreement between Commissioners.”
In his Utah speech, Clarence Thomas also condemned cancel culture, being afraid of the repercussions on civil arguments.
“I am scared of cancel culture attack in this world. I don’t know where you will learn to engage like we did when I was growing up,” he said. “If you don’t learn in grammar school, in high school, in civic organizations, or in your neighborhood, then how do you have it when you are making decisions in the legislature, in government or in the courts?”
Thomas continued on to say that he looked at civility as one of his highest values and said that, when he was attending school, he learned to respect institutions and to politely debate with people who did not agree with him.
He said that after talking with the students at his campus lectures in past years, he doesn’t think colleges want productive civil debates, especially when it comes to the students that are against abortion or value the nuclear family.