Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas isn’t eager to retire anytime soon, and he’s not sure where rumors about it are coming from.
Thomas has said previously that he’s not going anywhere, and indicated the same on Monday during an interview at the high court with financier-philanthropist David Rubenstein.
“Do you think it was your enemies putting it out or your friends putting it out?” Rubenstein asked about rumors that Thomas would step aside in June.
“I have no idea where this stuff comes from. One of the things you have to get used to in this business … is that people can say things about you and for you that have nothing to do with you,” Thomas said in the interview that was to air on C-SPAN.
He recalled his wife, Virginia, recently coming downstairs to tell him she just read that he was retiring after nearly three decades on the court.
“Good to know,” Thomas responded.
There’s been speculation that Thomas, 70, could retire and guarantee Republican President Donald Trump a third Supreme Court nomination.
But Thomas is now part of a more powerful conservative bloc with the addition of Trump appointees Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
Thomas told Rubenstein that he’s “so blessed to be here” and “have the opportunity to live up to my oath.”
“I don’t have a lot of stress,” Thomas said of his job.
“I cause stress,” he jested.
The deeply Catholic Thomas said the secret to his low-stress life is attending Mass, reading, and spending time with his wife, whom he described as “totally my best friend in the whole world.”
The two famously spend the summers traveling around the country in an RV. They hit 23 states last summer.
When asked by Rubenstein if he ever gets recognized, Thomas said it happens occasionally.
While traveling to Florida shortly after the 2000 Bush v. Gore case, someone inquired whether anyone has ever told him he looks like Clarence Thomas.
Although Thomas responded “yes,” the man just walked away.
“Anonymity is wonderful,” Thomas said.
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(Updated to add context in paragraphs 1-3)