FACT CHECK: Did Ron DeSantis And Clarence Thomas Have Lunch The Day Before The Dobbs V. Jackson Decision?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter
An image shared on Facebook alleges Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had lunch the day before Dobbs v. Jackson’s decision was issued.

Verdict: Misleading

DeSantis and Thomas met on June 23, 2021. The Dobbs decision was June 24, 2022. Media outlets who made the claim either retracted or corrected the claims.

Fact Check:

DeSantis signed a bill that banned abortion after 15 weeks with exceptions for danger to the life of the mother and fetal abnormalities, according to NPR. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, marking the first time a constitutional right had been revoked, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image, which shows a Raw Story article, claims that Thomas and DeSantis had lunch before Dobbs was decided. (RELATED: Did The Supreme Court Ban Condoms?)

“BREAKING: Clarence Thomas had lunch with Ron DeSantis one day before abortion rights was struck down according to newly obtained emails,” reads the screenshot of the tweet.

The claim is incorrect. While DeSantis and Thomas did meet for lunch, they met on June 23, 2021, according to emails obtained by watchdog group American Oversight. The Dobbs decision was issued June 24, 2022, which is over a year after the luncheon. Arguments in the case did not take place until December 2021, according to CPR News.

Eric Michael Garcia, who wrote an article making the claim for The Independent, issued an apology on Twitter for making the false claim. The article has since been deleted.

“I am legitimately so sorry. I was not trying to mislead. I am legitimately embarrassed and humiliated. I never wanted to do anything malicious. I am so apologetic. I should have double-checked the dates,” Garcia tweeted.

Raw Story, who also made the claim, issued a correction noting that Thomas and DeSantis did not have lunch the day before the Dobbs decision.

This is not the first time misinformation surrounding the Dobbs decision has circulated on social media. Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim from September 2022 claiming a New York law allowed abortion up to 28 days after birth.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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