Justice Sonia Sotomayor Praises Fellow Justice Clarence Thomas’ Acts of Kindness

Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Praises Fellow Justice Clarence Thomas’ Acts of Kindness

By Movieguide® Contributor

While political tensions escalate, friendship and praise from the opposing side becomes increasingly rare. However, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor praised Justice Clarence Thomas at an American Constitutional Society conference on Thursday.

“Justice Thomas is the one justice in the building that literally knows every employee’s name—every one of them. And not only does he know their names, he remembers their family’s names and histories,” Sotomayor commented on Thomas.

Movieguide® nominated the documentary CREATED EQUAL: CLARENCE THOMAS IN HIS OWN WORDS for several Movieguide® awards in 2021, including the Epiphany Prize® for Most Inspiring Movie, the Faith and Freedom Award® for Movies, and Best Movie for Mature Audiences. This documentary discusses Thomas’ life, from his humble beginnings in rural Georgia to Supreme Court appointment and career. 

While Sotomayor is often considered one of the most liberal justices on the Court, she noted Thomas’ kindness and consideration of others, despite their intense disagreement on most issues.

“I suspect I have probably disagreed with him more than with any other Justice, that we have not joined each other’s opinions more than anybody else,” Sotomayor claims.

However, she informed the audience that “He is a man who cares deeply about the court as an institution, about the people who work there.”

“He’s the first one who will go up to someone when you’re walking with him and say ‘is your son okay?’ ‘how’s your daughter doing in college?’ He’s the first one that, when my stepfather died, sent me flowers.”

She explained that she and Thomas share a “common understanding about people and kindness towards them.” While they disagree on what kindness looks like in their rulings, this commonality explains their friendship while continuing their “daily battle over our difference of opinions and cases.”

Amid the controversy surrounding the leaked draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, Sotomayor’s comments reveal that one can find commonality and friendship with those who hold an opposing ideology.

Movieguide® previously reported on the Supreme Court and the leaked decision draft: 

On May 2, Politico leaked landmark documents: a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would reject the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade and all subsequent cases, including Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.

“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives… This is what the Constitution and the rule of law demand,” the draft reads.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” the draft continued.

Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the abortion draft’s authenticity on May 3, noting that the draft is not a final decision by the Supreme Court and said that he “directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”

“Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case,” Justice Roberts said. “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed.”

Ben Shapiro, founder of The Daily Wire, writes: “First, the draft decision is just that: a draft decision. No one has presumably voted for it yet. Drafts change over time; they are subject to feedback from other members of the majority. The attempt to leverage public pressure against the justices is an attempt to strangle the Alito majority opinion in the crib, to generate fractures on the Court.”

While the legislation of abortion is often viewed under a political lens—as politicians work to fight for or against legal rights—it is important to not lose sight of its real-life moral consequences.

Hollywood and the media often gloss over the harsh reality of abortion and its lasting emotional and physical trauma on families around the world. However, Movieguide® has compiled a list of pro-life movies that do not glamorize abortion as a legal right, but depict it’s true horror; and God’s unwavering faithfulness to redeem and love his creation.