The word on the street is that Justice Thomas hasn’t said a single word in oral argumenents since February 22, 2006. Whenever I analyze oral arguments (here most recently) I always mention how he silent during oral arguments but I had no idea that this has been going on for over a year. The best excerpts:
Thomas has said in the past that he will ask a pertinent question if his colleagues don’t but sees no need to engage in the back-and-forth just to hear his own voice.
A recent tally by McClatchy Newspapers underscored this point: Thomas has spoken 281 words since court transcripts began identifying justices by name in October 2004. By contrast, Thomas’ neighbor on the bench, Justice Stephen Breyer, has uttered nearly 35,000 words since January.
The Georgia-born Thomas also has chalked up his silence to his struggle as a teenager to master standard English after having grown up speaking Geechee, a kind of dialect that thrived among former slaves on the islands off the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts.
68 hours of silence. Bravo Justice Thomas, Bravo!