Justice Thomas Speaks for 1st Time Since 2006

He appeared to have been making a joke

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jan 14, 2013 3:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Justice Clarence Thomas did something at a Supreme Court argument today for the first time in nearly seven years—he spoke. But what Thomas said is not clear; he appears to have joked about Ivy League lawyers. The argument transcript only records four words. It quotes Thomas as saying, "Well, he did not..." Several justices laughed in response. Louisiana lawyer Carla Sigler replied: "I would refute that, Justice Thomas."

Two lawyers in the courtroom said Thomas was joking about Ivy League law school graduates, although one said it was at the expense of Thomas' alma mater, Yale, and the other said rival Harvard was the butt of the joke. The Wall Street Journal reports that witnesses heard him say something along the lines of, "Well, he did not have competent counsel, then." Thomas hasn't asked a question in court since February 22, 2006.

Seated from left are Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Seated from left are Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas laughs while talking with other guests at The Federalist Society's 2011 Annual Dinner in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas laughs while talking with other guests at The Federalist Society's 2011 Annual Dinner in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
This artist rendering shows Chief Justice John Roberts, center, speaking at the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2012. From left are, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan.
This artist rendering shows Chief Justice John Roberts, center, speaking at the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2012. From left are, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence...   (AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
19%
1%
8%
13%
4%
55%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!