"The whole process of trying to ferret out the personal agenda through the confirmation process isn't an endeavor that I think is worth the price we are paying," said Thomas. "I think the only thing it does is rats out the agenda of the people asking the questions."
Thomas, who opposes the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, said the fight he faced during his own confirmation hearings in 1991 went back to abortion politics. Thomas was accused of sexual harassment, charges he referred to at the time as a "high-tech lynching" for an "uppity" black man.
"I think we all should be honest with one another that the only issue, the central issue in all of this, is abortion. It's not the other things that people throw out," he said. "The whole judiciary now is being held, in a sense, hostage to that one issue."