WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — He speaks.
After not saying a word on the bench for nearly seven years, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas finally spoke during a case.
According to CBS News, Thomas interrupted Justice Antonin Scalia to make a joke about Ivy League lawyers.
The argument transcript only records a few 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.
Thomas told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in 2007 that not asking questions is just his “personal preference.”
“Justice Marshall rarely asked questions. Justice Powell rarely asked questions. That’s a personal preference. I certainly wouldn’t do it to provide histrionics for the media gallery or for other people or for critics,” Thomas told CBS News. “Critics will always be critics.”
Thomas hasn’t asked a question in court since February 22, 2006.
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