Justice Thomas worries about 'trends' like 'cancel culture'

Justice Thomas worries about 'trends' like 'cancel culture'
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently expressed concern about the possibility of "cancel culture" and politicization of the courts eroding legal institutions.

On Friday, March 11, Thomas appeared at an event in Salt Lake City, Utah that was hosted by former Republican U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch's foundation.

During his speech, Thomas, the oldest Supreme Court Justice on the bench, spoke to a crowd of approximately 500 attendees where he shared his concerns about the long-term drawbacks that could come from so-called trends like "cancel culture."

At one point during his speech, Thomas recalled how times were when he was growing up as he noted how things have changed. The justice grew up in Georgia during the times of segregation.

"I'm afraid, particularly in this world of cancel culture attack, I don't know where you're going to learn to engage as we did when I grew up," he said. "If you don't learn at that level in high school, in grammar school, in your neighborhood, or in civic organizations, then how do you have it when you're making decisions in government, in the legislature, or in the courts?"

Thomas went on to discuss some of the repercussions that he believes could derive from the changes in politics.

"You can cavalierly talk about packing or stacking the court. You can cavalierly talk about doing this or doing that. At some point the institution is going to be compromised," Thomas told the audience. "By doing this, you continue to chip away at the respect of the institutions that the next generation is going to need if they're going to have civil society."

Despite Thomas' concerns, his own party appears to be eroding systems. Per NPR.org: "The court has leaned increasingly conservative since three justices nominated by former President Donald Trump joined its ranks. Progressives have in turn called to expand the number of justices on the court, including during the 2020 presidential primary. Democrats in Congress introduced a bill last year to add four justices to the bench, and President Joe Biden has convened a commission to study expanding the court."

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