Politics Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas hasn’t asked a question in a decade

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by GaryPuppet, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. GaryPuppet

    GaryPuppet Well-Known Member

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    By Jon Schuppe
    Ten years ago Monday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked a question from the bench.

    He hasn’t done it since.

    The streak is a record — no other justice in modern history has gone more than a term without asking a question during oral arguments. It’s also a source of curiosity and angst in the legal community.

    It will also likely continue for some time. Thomas has shown no sign of changing his ways, issuing his opinions in written form and making little more than small talk with other justices when the court is hearing arguments — and, once, three years ago, cracking an apparent joke.

    The last time Thomas asked a question was Feb. 22, 2006, during arguments on a death penalty case.

    No one knows quite why Thomas chooses to abstain as he does. Some have pointed to his prior remarks about growing up self-conscious about his rural Georgia accent. But the more likely explanation is that Thomas believes he learns more if he keeps quiet.

    “I just think that it’s more in my nature to listen rather than to ask a bunch of questions,” he told high school students in 2000. “And they get asked anyway.”

    Thomas has also said he is uncomfortable competing with the court’s louder voices — which, until his death this month, included Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Taking part in oral arguments is just one piece of the high court’s deliberative process. Lawyers on both sides make most of their arguments in briefs submitted beforehand. Justices use oral arguments to analyze those positions and to debate indirectly with their colleagues.

    Preferring silence is not unprecedented, scholars say: Justice William Brennan, for example, was famously reticent during his late career.

    Stephen Wasby, political science professor emeritus at the University of Albany, said Thomas’ approach hurts the process.

    “He’s not giving the lawyers an opportunity to address his concerns. And I think he should,” Wasby said. “The others do. He should. That’s a legitimate concern.”

    But scholars point out that the court’s increased volubility is more a recent development. Historically, they say, the court didn’t ask many questions during oral arguments.

    That makes Thomas somewhat of a throwback. He’s better known for the power of his written opinions, which reflect his conservative beliefs and originalist interpretation of the Constitution and which scholars say are proving to have lasting impact on American law. His ideas about individual gun rights under the Second Amendment, for instance, have been influential.

    Ralph Rossum, a law professor at Claremont University who wrote a book about Thomas’ impact on constitutional law, said it wouldn’t necessarily make Thomas more effective if he suddenly started to speak up.

    “Obviously, Thomas knows he doesn’t ask questions and there’s a lot of criticism that he doesn’t,” Rossum said. “But he’s confident enough in his own skin not to care. He’s going to do it his way.”
     
  2. Gusbuss

    Gusbuss VIP Extreme Gold

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    He' s afraid he will have a hair in his throat?
     
  3. CrucifiedAGT

    CrucifiedAGT He's Around VIP

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    Wait, do we attack the fact that he is black or the fact that he is a conservative? I need to know, Damn It!!!
     
  4. FishySausage

    FishySausage Original Nuttah VIP

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    Better to remain silent and be thought an idiot, then to speak and remove all doubt.
     
  5. jlightningzz

    jlightningzz Well-Known Member VIP

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    You have clearance Clarence.
     
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  6. PI Nate

    PI Nate Disenfranchised since 1984... Gold POTY Politics

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    He's been dealing with progressive racism his entire life.

    Look who was leading the charge here. :lmao:

     
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  7. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    He's not required to ask any questions.
    Ever.
     
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  8. PI Nate

    PI Nate Disenfranchised since 1984... Gold POTY Politics

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    Any minority that dares have an independent thought is attacked.
     
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  9. Vincenzo69

    Vincenzo69 Well-Known Member

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    Thomas is famous for being an idiot who knows nothing and shot up the ranks because he happens to be a black republican.

    He was head of the EEOC appointed by Reagan when he was sexually harassing Anita Hill -- the height of irony. marshall retired and Bush Sr. needed a black republucan to replace him
     
  10. Vincenzo69

    Vincenzo69 Well-Known Member

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    Thomas has thoughts? When did that happen?
     
  11. Vincenzo69

    Vincenzo69 Well-Known Member

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    He's not but it illustrates the fact that he knows nothing about the law. That's like saying Steph Curry isn't required to make a free throw. Legally he's not but it would look bad if he didn't.
     
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  12. PI Nate

    PI Nate Disenfranchised since 1984... Gold POTY Politics

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    Early candidate for Dumbest Post of the Year. :up:

    If he was progressive, your opinion would be, that he's brilliant.
     
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  13. Vincenzo69

    Vincenzo69 Well-Known Member

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    Yawn, your comebacks are getting lamer and lamer
     
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  14. Time Bandit

    Time Bandit Well-Known Member

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    he's coasting
     
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  15. DABA

    DABA Well-Known Member

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    That is a terrible analogy. Thomas doesn't need to ask questions to be good at his job. He has to know and follow the law. Say what you will about the Justices but to say they don't know the law or they're idiots makes you look like a dumbass.
     
  16. guruhugz

    guruhugz Well-Known Member

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    he has a notebook of ideas
     
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  17. The Booey

    The Booey Well-Known Member

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    I don't care that he doesn't talk. I do care that he does think.
     
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  18. PI Nate

    PI Nate Disenfranchised since 1984... Gold POTY Politics

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    You think a sitting Supreme Court Justice doesn't know the law, you're retarded. Or is that Special Needs now?
     
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  19. Vincenzo69

    Vincenzo69 Well-Known Member

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    More like ghosting
     
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  20. Vincenzo69

    Vincenzo69 Well-Known Member

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    Thomas doesn't know anything he's been Scalia's piss boy for 25 years. Scalia could have voted to blow up the moon he would have voted with him

    I guess he'll just do whatever Alito does from now on. Roberts is perceived as a liberal even though he's not