facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Justice Thomas breaks 7 years of silence

Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke a few words on the record from the bench Monday, a first in nearly seven years, a transcript confirms.

While the entirety of what Thomas said at 11:45 a.m. wasn't clear, the official transcript caught the words: "Well -- he did not --," The New York Times reported.

Those words broke Thomas' span of official silence while on the bench dating to Feb. 22, 2006, the newspaper noted.

Thomas may have been making a joke when he spoke, the Times said.

The justices were discussing the qualifications of a death penalty defense lawyer in Louisiana when Justice Antonin Scalia said she was a product of Yale Law School, a top school that just happens to also be Thomas' alma mater. During the back-and-forth conversation, Scalia commented about a male graduate of Harvard Law School, Thomas leaned into his microphone and made the remark, which the transcript noted was followed by laughter in the courtroom.

The Times said people in the room at the time understood Thomas to say that a law degree from Yale may actually be proof of incompetence.

While Thomas is known to converse with fellow justices out of microphone range, confirmed comments from the bench are rare. The Times said Thomas has previously indicated he has some self-consciousness about his speech patterns, a carryover from his childhood in rural Georgia. At other times he has said he is quiet out of simple courtesy and also has complained about the difficulty of interjecting among his more talkative colleagues.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
France holds up delivery of warships to Russia France holds up delivery of warships to Russia
2
Police suspect poisoning in death of Utah family Police suspect poisoning in death of Utah family
3
Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News
4
Hawaii lava update: 100 feet from home, National Guard deployed Hawaii lava update: 100 feet from home, National Guard deployed
5
Kaci Hickox won't obey Maine Ebola quarantine, state may go to court Kaci Hickox won't obey Maine Ebola quarantine, state may go to court
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback