Should Clarence Thomas Speak in Court?

US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas doesn't speak in court
US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas doesn’t speak in court.

United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated by George H.W. Bush, in 1991 to succeed Thurgood Marshall.  He was narolloly confirmed by the US Senate and has since had a strange presence on the court, speaking or asking questions almost never and going almost 7 years without speaking at all.  In 2013 he cracked a joke, surprising many that he had spoken at all.

Thomas’s confirmation hearings were bitter and intensely fought, centering on an accusation that he had sexually harassed—or engaged in unseemly behavior toward—attorneyAnita Hill, a subordinate at the Department of Education and subsequently at the EEOC. The U.S. Senate ultimately confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52–48 then confirmed after a media filled US Senate hearing. (Wikipedia)

Since joining the Court, Thomas has taken a textualist approach, seeking to uphold what he sees as the original meaning of the United States Constitutionand statutes. He is generally viewed as the most conservative member of the Court (Wikipedia)

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Clarence Thomas’s Disgraceful Silence – His behavior on the bench has gone from curious to bizarre to downright embarrassing, for himself and for the institution he represents.

Who Cares About Clarence Thomas’s Silence?–  His jurisprudential vision is unattractive in many respects, but he’s far from unqualified or incompetent, and his silence at oral arguments is an interesting trivia question but really nothing more than that.