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

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas hasn’t asked a question in ten years, and it isn’t likely that he’s going to start anytime soon.

It’s possible that the reason for Thomas’ silence is simply that he does not want to speak up, as he has spoken before about the fact that he is self-conscious about his Georgia accent. However, it is more likely that he is just staying quiet because he believes that he can learn more that way.

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“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 remarked that he is uncomfortable competing with louder voices, including the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Stephen Wasby, political science professor emeritus at the University of Albany, said that Thomas’ silence, however, might hurt 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.”

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Still, scholars argue that it is not in the oral arguments where Thomas’ opinion shines in the first place. Instead, he has been better known for his powerful written arguments, and that is likely where he will continue to make his points.