Clarence Thomas Really Just Blamed Abortion for His Undisclosed Private Jet Travel

Thomas says the fancy flights gifted by Harlan Crow were necessary for his safety after his and his pals' decision to overturn Roe leaked last spring, OK?

Clarence Thomas Really Just Blamed Abortion for His Undisclosed Private Jet Travel
Photo:Alex Wong (Getty Images)

Over the years, conservatives have managed to blame abortion for any number of wildly unrelated things. Just last summer, for instance, Republican lawmakers managed to blame abortion instead of their own policies for our depleted social safety net. But this one’s new: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who’s recently been exposed for accepting wildly unethical gifts and payments (including full tuition for his grand-nephew) from far-right billionaire and Nazi artifact collector Harlan Crow, just managed to blame abortion for the private plane rides from Crow he tried to keep a secret from everyone. Ha ha!

On Thursday, Thomas finally “disclosed” (LOL) several trips paid for by Crow last year and explained that he’d only accepted the private plane travel because of “the increased security risk” he supposedly incurred after the Supreme Court’s opinion overturning Roe v. Wade leaked a month early. One of the flights he disclosed was for an American Enterprise Institute speaking event in Dallas, Texas, shortly after the leak in May 2022.

Thomas’ whining about feeling ~unsafe~ in the aftermath of the court’s extremist ruling on abortion last year echoes the ruckus that the rest of his conservative colleagues on the bench have been making for the last year. Just last October, Justice Samuel Alito—who notably cited an English jurist who called for the burning of witches in the 1600s in his decision to end Roe—claimed the leak had made conservative justices “targets for assassination.”

To be clear, the protests that Thomas, Alito, and their conservative colleagues have faced are literally just the consequences for their own actions—actions that have already endangered countless pregnant people and inflicted severe physical harm on many. A woman in Texas who was denied emergency abortion care post-Roe, for instance, almost died; she later learned that severe scarring had permanently closed her right fallopian tube and that her uterus had collapsed and needed to be reconstructed by a doctor.

If the worst thing that’s actually happened to conservative justices post-Roe has been Brett Kavanaugh being forced to leave a Morton’s Steakhouse before finishing his dessert last fall and Thomas being forced to take private plane rides from a billionaire, I’d say they’re doing just fine. By contrast, the fall of Roe has contributed to a sharp uptick in maternal mortality, and abortion patients forced to travel out-of-state for sometimes life-saving care are certainly not being carried there in Harlan Crow’s private planes!

In any case, that Thomas has just now decided to make these disclosures is… interesting timing, amid ongoing calls for transparency and investigations into his conduct from Democrats in Congress. Over the last several months, Propublica has reported that Crow and other billionaires have gifted Thomas with “at least 38 destination vacations,” “26 private jet flights, plus an additional eight by helicopter,” “a dozen VIP passes to professional and college sporting events, typically perched in the skybox,” “two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica,” and much, much more. I’d love to hear how abortion and hysterical abortion rights protesters forced him to accept all of those.

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