Justice Thomas said that the left had adopted tactics that conservatives would not employ.
“You would never visit the homes of Supreme Court justices when things don’t go our way,” he said. “We didn’t throw tantrums. It is up to us to always act appropriately and not pay an eye for an eye.”
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, “didn’t get a hearing, but he wasn’t criticized.”
“You will not see the total destruction of a single candidate,” Justice Thomas said. “You also won’t see people going to other people’s houses, attacking them at dinner in a restaurant, throwing things at them.”
He said that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh had been the target of particular abuse, but only referred in passing to his own brutal confirmation hearings, during which he angrily denied allegations of sexual harassment.
Taking sides on a controversial point, Justice Thomas said Senate Republicans who blocked Mr. Garland’s nomination were following a rule that President Biden, then a senator, had proposed “which is that he has not been heard 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 1991 nomination was “from those people who were trying to keep me out of court over abortion.”
At his confirmation hearings, however, he said, to the astonishment of many, that he had never discussed Roe, even though it aired when he was a student at Yale Law School.