U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito defends Justice Thomas' silence

By Kimberly Atkins

Dolan Media Newswires

BOSTON, MA--Justice Samuel Alito is not happy with all the ado over the silence of his colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas, during oral arguments.

As readers of this blog know, Thomas has declined to offer a question or comment during oral arguments since Feb. 22, 2006. On the otherwise hot bench, Thomas' silence is a standout.

But the focus on Thomas' taciturnity irks Alito, who told an audience at the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis that he was ''struck and somewhat displeased'' that no one mentions that other famous Supreme Court justices chose not to speak during oral arguments, the St. Louis Beacon reports.

''Justice Thomas' practice is, as far as I can tell, exactly the same as John Marshall, regarded by many as the greatest justice ever,'' Alito said, according to the Associated Press. During Marshall's tenure from 1801 to 1835, Alito noted, few justices asked questions despite the fact that cases were decided based almost entirely from the oral argument.

DC Dicta does not wish to displease Alito, so next term in the Funniest Justice tally - in which we always note Thomas' silence - we will try to remember to mention that Marshall was also quiet during arguments.

Entire contents copyrighted © 2011 by Dolan Media Company.

Published: Mon, May 23, 2011


  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »