Thomas last week recalled the court atmosphere before 2005, when Roberts joined, and said, “We actually trusted each other. We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family, and we loved it.”…
Thomas’ remarks pulled back the curtain on the tensions inside. Perhaps they revealed long simmering sentiment for a chief who has wrenched relations over the years. Or perhaps they reflected the internal recriminations over who might be responsible for disclosing the draft opinion. Or perhaps they indicate that the apparent five-justice majority to overturn Roe is not so secure.
It is not unusual to hear Thomas deride the court’s traditional adherence to precedent, what’s known by the Latin phrase of stare decisis. “We use stare decisis as a mantra when we don’t want to think,” he insisted in an Atlanta speech in early May.
But Thomas’ sudden aim at Roberts’ leadership is new. In the Dallas appearance, his message to the chief justice came down to: The court was better before you arrived.