Clarence Thomas says Supreme Court could be "most dangerous" branch

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Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday, during rare public remarks at the University of Notre Dame, warned against politicizing the Supreme Court.

Driving the news: Thomas, the court's longest-serving member, said that the justices do not rule based on "personal preferences" and that politicians should not "allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome that we like," per the Washington Post.

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  • Thomas, 73, also criticized some of his colleagues, without naming names, for veering into the role of politicians, saying that "[w]hen we begin to venture into the legislative or executive branch lanes, those of us, particularly in the federal judiciary with lifetime appointments, are asking for trouble."

  • "The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous," he added.

What he's saying: "It is not about winning or losing at the court, it is about the entire country and the idea of this country," Thomas said.

  • "I think we should be careful destroying our institutions because they don't give us what we want, when we want it."

The big picture: Thomas is the latest justice to talk publicly about the Supreme Court before its new term.

  • Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative appointed by former President Trump, said earlier this week that the court "is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks" and that "judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties."

  • Justice Stephen Breyer, who has been promoting a book, warned against expanding the court, saying Democrats "better be pretty careful about it because two can play at that game."

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