Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called out the hypocrisy of Supreme Court justices using the word “children” in addressing juvenile murderers but “young woman” when referring to minors in abortion cases.
The justice concurred in a Thursday Supreme Court ruling on Jones v. Mississippi, in which the Court upheld a judge’s ability to give life without parole to juvenile offenders who have been found guilty of homicide, even without a “factual finding of permanent incorrigibility.”
In a footnote, Thomas said that “the Court’s language in this line of precedents is notable.”
Quite the footnote dropped today from Justice Thomas.
Quite the footnote dropped today from Justice Thomas. pic.twitter.com/HY2e0lNOzA
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) April 22, 2021
“When addressing juvenile murderers, this Court has stated that ‘children are different’ and that courts must consider ‘a child’s lesser culpability,'” Thomas wrote. “And yet, when assessing the Court-created right of an individual of the same age to seek an abortion, Members of this Court take pains to emphasize a ‘young woman’s’ right to choose.”
Thomas referenced the 1997 case Lambert v. Wicklund, the 1992 case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, and the 1990 case Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health.
“It is curious how the Court’s view of the maturity of minors ebbs and flows depending on the issue,” he said.
The justice’s comments draw attention to a point that pro-life advocates often highlight: the changes in language that pro-abortion advocates use.