Clarence Thomas stuns courtroom by asking his first question in a decade


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In his first years on the Court, Thomas would rock forward, whisper comments about the lawyers to his neighbors Breyer and Kennedy, and generally look like he was acknowledging where he was. These days, Thomas only reclines; his leather chair is pitched so that he can stare at the ceiling, which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”


With Scalia gone, the puppet strings have gone slack. Who knows, maybe someday Thomas will actually utter an opinion of his own someday.


It’s almost as if he’s a bad fit for the role, isn’t it?


I liked that one song of his:

Seriously though, is the only reason we don’t see an outpouring of support for a black man ashamed and bullied because of his southern dialect is because he’s a conservative?


Unfortunately, his question was “Where is the men’s room?”


He is risen!

He is risen indeed!


Thomas is confused, someone should help him out with the 411.

Once you’ve gotten to something like being appointed to the SCOTUS, you get to tease people who don’t have a Georgia accent, if you please.


Scalia and Thomas didn’t always agree-- their written opinions could be quite different. But perhaps Scalia asked the same sort of questions that Thomas was interested in?

Also, sounds like Domestic Violence needs to be made into a felony.


I’m with you on this. No way is this a coincidence, coming so soon after Scalia’s death. His unease must be strong.


I just think he’s relaying Scalia’s questions after his now-weekly seance.


I recently read a relevant piece in the responses to the most recent Edge question “What do you consider the most interesting recent [scientific] news? What makes it important?” Jonathan Haidt’s "The Strongest Prejudice Was Identified" discusses some research that strongly indicates political ideology [now?] swamps traditional race/gender/religion lines as a source of prejudice, at least in the United States.

It is, more or less, the “day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” but it turns out that kind of sucks too, and all the social progress may only amount to a change of basis for our tribalism - I’m not sure how convinced I am by that last point, but it’s an interesting perspective.


Wow, how does someone get elected to the SCOTUS while being uncomfortable speaking? Most lawyers I know LOVE talking.


Nobody gets elected to the Supreme Court. It’s a position appointed by the president.

Also, speaking to a friend or small group of people differs vastly from speaking on the public record that will be preserved and accessible forever. Some people get a little stagefright.


Reclining and staring at the ceiling is JV-level not paying attention.

The pros slump forward and put their head on their desk, face either hidden or pointed to one side.





My many years of carefully not-paying-attention in class has made me an expert in how to take apart, and put back together any and all kinds of pens, over and over until they finally break.


No kidding - any judge that doesn’t ask questions is a bad fit, for SCOTUS it’s abhorrent!


how old is he? surely he’s past the age where he should care what others think of his accent!