Silent Clarence Thomas

March 3, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

What does it mean when a Justice on the United States Supreme Court fails to ask a single question during oral argument for four years? People are starting to wonder.


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Category: Law

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Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. This is more of the same. Recall when he first came to the Court he did the same thing—yet he writes opinions on everything, lengthy opinions, lengthier than any prior novice Supreme Court justice. This suggests two things.

    One, he's already made up his mind about a given issue.

    Two, he really wasn't, as the president who nominated him claimed, "the best candidate for the seat that could be found."

    Clarence Thomas has been out of his depth since day one and has been an embarrassment for the Right—or would be if he were not exactly what they wanted, someone who votes in lockstep with anti-progressive, anti-liberal thinking.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mark: What I would suspect is that his law clerks are writing his opinions, and he's signing them. I'm believing that until proven otherwise.

      BTW, did you know that the Supreme Court law clerks are paid $250,000 per year, and each Supreme Court Justice gets FOUR of them. And did you know that each Supreme Court Justice get paid LESS than each clerk (about $200,000)?… What would the founding fathers think about this, I wonder? What would American citizens think about this, if they knew? As you said, Supreme Court Justices are already supposed to be the best and the brightest, but you could stick anyone into those slots with support like this, especially if they don't talk at oral argument to A) show us that they are engaged with the thought process going on around them, and B) showing a willingness to test their one ideas out on the floor of open debate. In my view, failing to talk for four years is showing massive disrespect for the process.

  2. A supreme court justice gets $200,000 a year.

    Judge Judy makes 21 million.

    Go fig.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    According to Supreme Court Justice "Clarence Thomas, a prisoner who was slammed to a concrete floor and punched and kicked by a guard after asking for a grievance form — but suffered neither serious nor permanent harm — has no claim that his constitutional rights were violated. Thomas objected when the high court, in a little-noted recent opinion, said this unprovoked and malicious assault by a North Carolina prison guard amounted to cruel and unusual punishment."

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