The Silent Justice

I suppose this doesn’t help his reputation, but I find Justice Thomas’ habit of not actually participating in Supreme Court arguments to be kind of charming:

A week from Tuesday, when the Supreme Court returns from its midwinter break and hears arguments in two criminal cases, it will have been five years since Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a court argument.

I feel like the really talking justices like Scalia and Roberts are just sort of showing off. The reality is that while being a Supreme Court Justice is unquestionably a very important job, I don’t see much reason to think it’s a particularly difficult one and all Thomas is showing is that a person can quietly go about the business of deciding which outcome he likes without raising a fuss over it. I’m really not looking forward to the spectacle of eight justices yammering away at a hearing over the Affordable Care Act pretending to be open-minded and ready to be persuaded by the quality of their students oral presentations. Thomas, sitting in his chair having more-or-less decided in advance what he thinks about major legal issues, seems like a more honest guy.