Supreme Court’s Thomas Breaks Nearly 7-Year Court Silence

Washington (Reuters) —

The silence is broken.

For the first time in nearly seven years, Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday spoke to a lawyer presenting a case during oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.

While his utterance was not in the form of a question and consisted of a mere four words, it breaks a silence dating to February 22, 2006, during an argument over the admission of forensic evidence in a South Carolina death penalty case.

Thomas’s silence stands out because the other eight justices are active questioners during the hourlong oral arguments. The end of that silence caused a stir among reporters, who sit together in the courtroom.

Since joining the Supreme Court in 1991, Thomas, 64, has given many reasons for his lack of questions.

These have included a preference for listening, developed after classmates during his childhood made fun of a dialect he spoke when growing up in Savannah, Georgia.

Thomas also has suggested that his colleagues ask too many questions, making it hard for lawyers to make their cases.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!