This one is stranger than usual from Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas is known for his silence on the court, going years without asking a single question of the Attorney’s presenting cases before the Supreme Court. Now we find up it is because he has already made up his mind before hearing the oral arguments…
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Clarence Thomas, the justice long known as the silent member of the Supreme Court, criticized his colleagues Friday for badgering attorneys rather than letting them speak during oral arguments.
Thomas – who hasn’t asked a lawyer a question during arguments in nearly four years – said he and the other eight justices virtually always know where they stand on a case by reading legal briefs before oral arguments.
“So why do you beat up on people if you already know? I don’t know, because I don’t beat up on ‘em. I refuse to participate. I don’t like it, so I don’t do it,” Thomas said during an appearance before law students at the University of Alabama.
Thomas didn’t name names, but fellow conservative Justice Antonin Scalia is generally considered the court’s most aggressive questioner during oral arguments. President Barack Obama’s lone nominee so far, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, isn’t afraid to ask questions either.
Thomas scoffed at the idea that the justices try to use questions to influence the opinions of fellow members of the court.
“All nine of us are in the same building,” he said. “If we want to sway each other we know where we are. We don’t need oral arguments to do that. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Just another good reason to hope for several Court retirements during Obama’s First Term…
A little Funk for Clarence –