Skip to comments.Does Clarence Thomas's Silence Matter? A entire term without speaking once during arguments
Posted on 02/17/2011 6:42:24 AM PST by SeekAndFind
It will be five years next week since Justice Clarence Thomas spoke during oral argument at the Supreme Court. Before falling into this long silence, he posed a question on Feb. 22, 2006. In the past 40 years, no other justice has gone an entire term without speaking at least once during arguments, according to Timothy R. Johnson, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota.
Can a justice effectively perform his duties without participating in oral argument? Does questioning the lawyers in court make much difference, or is it mostly a ritual, with the justices' thinking pretty much set beforehand?
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(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Can a Supreme Court justice effectively perform his duties without participating in oral arguments?
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Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt......Abe Lincoln..........
He never really has much, though, has he?
Unlike Ginsburg at least Thomas stays awake during oral argument.
He’s the best justice on the bench, by far. Scalia is a good talker, but when his own pet views are involved, he folds (see Raich or Playboy for examples. Hell, see any case where Scalia and Thomas were on opposite ends, and you’ll find yourself agreeing with Thomas.)
There’s nothing wrong with listening. Silent Cal was a damn fine president and a man of very few words.
That tagline says all I need to know about the article...no need to waste time reading such drivel!
Also attributed to Mark Twain and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It might be a worthwhile discussion if it was in a paper with a wider readership, like the Tri-State Defender or any law journal.
I’ve read some of his opinions, and they’re good enough for me. It seems to me, too, that everything that needs to be presented to an appellate-type court can, and should be, presented in writing, and in such a way that nothing should require verbal clarification.
Listening is how you learn, not by blabbing
Playboy case? I don’t remember that one - what happened and how did Scalia/Thomas rule?
They prolly saw it on each other’s Facebook page............
Part of a coordinated attack on Justice Thomas (see the controversy about his wife’s income and the petition re Citizen’s United) to disqualify him from participating in the upcoming ObamaCare case.
...and it’s racist.
An empty barrel makes the most noise.
Style varies of course, but few questions are asked for the purpose of information. Oral argument has very little impact in most cases.
I really don’t care what he says or doesn’t say, it’s how he votes that matters.
Wish Obama would learn from his example.
I’d rather that Justice Thomas listen well as he appears to do. His final analysis most certainly outdoes the liberal chicken-lipped justices currently infesting the court. If you want an example of a fine African American intellectual, it is most certainly Justice Thomas.
On the other hand, if one wants an example of an AA t*rd, just wait for the next White House brief.
In the meantime the two dingbats speak enough for the entire court.
The New York Times hates conservatives. Nuff said...
I know someone who is an compulsive talker, he is dumber than a box of rocks and I am related to him.
Your tagline nails it the mostest, hands down!
RE: Silent Cal was a damn fine president and a man of very few words.
Dorothy Parker to President Coolidge: “I made a bet with a friend that I could get you to say more than two words.”.
Coolidge: “You lose!”
Many years later....
Dorothy Parker on being told of Coolidge’s death : “How can you tell?”
Beside this whole non-issue being a racist attack against Justice Thomas, whom they believe to be the weakest conservative, because of his color and failure to get back on the plantation when threatened.
The whole concept of the Court to HEAR oral argument is for the court to hear the best each side has to offer, not to insert new issues into the case or to help one side or the other to impress the Court. Insertion of judicial opinion during argument can easily insert political argument into the meaning of a decision long before the facts are weighed.
The poster stated that Thomas was an affirmative action hire. This was also a NYTimes article. The left wants him gone.
The thing is, they elected an affirmative action president. And he ISN'T qualified. Thomas is.
There is no reason to ask questions if the Constitutional issue is clear cut from the beginning. It is not like the written arguments don’t cover every possible base.
In reading the comments of most Justices, it appears that they are mainly intended to create the illusion that they are great moral arbitrators, when in fact, they are only intended to rule on the law.
Once again proving that The NYSlimes is one of the great racist institutions in this country...
You learn more by listening than by talking.
Oral argument is primarily just a disguised debate between the justices themselves, or an attempt to get nifty sound bite quotes to justify a decision the justice has already reached, or simply a justice wanting to have a bit of fun.
Most of the ‘legal opinions’ are rendered by their aides anyway. The judges just vote aye or nay according to the instructions given them by their political masters. IMHO
ObamaCare, and by extension Obama’s entire “legacy”, is in jeopardy. The current make-up of the SC is problematic and they need to knock off just one judge.
Citizens United is a non-starter and Ginny’s income disclosure is a tempest-in-a-teapot.
Smells like desperation.
Here it is:
It was a first amendment case. Weird case. Thomas in the 5-4 majority with Kennedy, Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg. Scalia dissenting, along with Breyer, O’Connor, and Rehnquist.
The times can rail all they want about Clarence Thomas.
He is appointed for life.
Judge should not be arguing the case before him. The attorneys present their case, the judge decides. If the attorneys are too stupid and inept to present all the facts in clear and concise terms, shame on them.
Supreme Court Cases are mostly about the review of court records from lower courts. Questioning appears to be aimed at changing other judge’s minds, not about learning more about the case.
Oral arguments at that level are nothing but theater. Everything that is important should be in the briefs. Now, if I discovered he didn’t actually read the relevant briefs, that would be something completely different.
They should can arguments before the USSC anyhow. What a waste of time.
Unfortunately, cases are effectively decided on behalf not only of the actual litigants, but also on behalf of countless other people who are not parties to the case at hand but will be affected the precedent it sets.
Justice Clarence Thomas can speak when he wishes to speak.
While I would very much like to hear more from him I’m not about to tell him he has to speak up.
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