CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic published an analysis on Friday arguing that Justice Clarence Thomas carefully made a slight at Chief Justice John Roberts while speaking at an event last week in Dallas.
Thomas was reportedly attending a conference organized by conservative groups, including the American Enterprise Institute and the Manhattan Institute, according to Newsweek.
Recalling the court’s atmosphere before Roberts joined in 2005, Thomas told the crowd that justices ”actually trusted each other” at the time.
”We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family, and we loved it,” he added.
Thomas also responded to a question about relations between justices, specifically the relationship between the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.
”This is not the court of that era,” he proclaimed. ”I sat with Ruth Ginsburg for almost 30 years. And she was actually an easy colleague for me. You knew where she was, and she was a nice person to deal with. Sandra Day O’Connor, you could say the same thing.
”The court that was together for 11 years was a fabulous court,” Thomas said of the bench from 1994 to 2005. ”It was one you looked forward to being a part of.”
The comments from Thomas come on the heels of a now-confirmed leaked Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.
In the opinion, which calls into question Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, it appears that all five conservative justices, a majority of the bench, are set to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Sources told CNN, however, that Roberts did not want to completely overturn the 1973 precedent, which would probably place him in the dissent with the three liberal justices.