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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.

  • 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."

Go deeper

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Ohio sues Biden admin over reversal of Trump-era abortion referral ban

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Monday over a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals that President Biden overturned earlier this month.

The big picture: The lawsuit aims to reinstate two measures included in the 2019 legislation that required federally funded family planning clinics to be "financially independent of abortion clinics," and refrain from referring patients for abortions.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.