Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been serving on the United States’ highest court since 1991. But for the past 6+ years, he has not spoken — not a single word — during oral arguments. Herndon lawyer Doug Landau noted in a previous post on this site that by not speaking, Thomas is depriving people who wait sometimes years to come before the Court the opportunity to hear what may be on his mind. Landau finds it disturbing, to say the least.
In an odd development, Thomas finally broke his silence in January of this year. But what he said landed him in the Washington Post’s column “Who Had the Worst Week in Washington.” Instead of posing a well-thought-out question, or making a profound observation, he made a barely audible joke about his alma mater, Yale Law School.
Lawyer Landau has this to say:
“Thomas utters not one word for almost 7 years and now that he finally speaks, it’s a joke, not a real question ? And no one understands what he said ? We WANT justices to ask hard questions, to wrestle with the difficult legal issues, to be the ‘best & the brightest’ legal minds from all walks of life. Not silent, passive listeners. What a disappointment. I would hope our best legal minds and most courageous jurists would be on the Supreme Court asking the top lawyers in the country to explain issues in their briefs and advocate for their clients for all to see and hear.”