Justice Thomas said the left had adopted tactics that conservatives would not employ.
“You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way,” he said. “We didn’t throw temper tantrums. It is incumbent on us to always act appropriately, and not to repay tit for tat.”
He added that conservatives had “never trashed a Supreme Court nominee.” He acknowledged that Merrick B. Garland, President Barack Obama’s third Supreme Court nominee, “did not get a hearing, but he was not trashed.”
“You will not see the utter destruction of a single nominee,” Justice Thomas said. “You will also not see people going to other people’s houses, attacking them at dinner at a restaurant, throwing things on them.”
He said Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh had been subjected to particular abuse, but he referred only glancingly to his own brutal confirmation hearings, during which he angrily denied accusations of sexual harassment.
Taking sides on a contested point, Justice Thomas said the Senate Republicans who blockaded Mr. Garland’s nomination were following a rule that President Biden, then a senator, had proposed, “which is you get no hearing in the last year of an administration.”
Justice Thomas, the longest-serving member of the current court, has been a fierce opponent of Roe.
On Friday, he said opposition to his nomination in 1991 was “by those people who were trying to keep me off the court over abortion.”
At his confirmation hearings, however, he said, to the astonishment of many, that he had never discussed Roe, even though it was issued while he was a student at Yale Law School.