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Not There? Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Sphinx (general)

posted by bibleprobe(R) Homepage, Mass., 02.22.2014

Imagine, for a moment, if all nine Justices behaved as Thomas does on the bench” - Jeffrey Toobin The New Yorker


Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Sphinx
By Anthony Zurcher Editor, Echo Chambers

I was in the Supreme Court on one of the rare occasions when Clarence Thomas asked a question during oral arguments, a period set aside for lawyers in a case to defend their positions before the nine justices.

Except for a few choice seats, the view of the court bench from the press gallery is largely blocked by pillars that run down the side of the room, so experienced reporters learn to identify justices by their voices.

It was with shock, then, that we heard a speaker we didn't immediately recognise. Was that Clarence Thomas? We asked in whispers, then began scribbling furiously in our notebooks. An already interesting case in 2002 about the constitutionality of anti-cross-burning statutes suddenly became one of the top headlines of the day.

On Saturday (today) it will have been eight years since Mr Thomas has said more than a joking aside during arguments - a length of time that Supreme Court watcher Jeffrey Toobin calls "demeaning to the court" in a piece for the New Yorker.



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