29 February 2016

Huh. It Appears that He Can Talk

Clarence Thomas just just asked his first questions in a Supreme Court oral argument in 10 years. I am thinking that the absence of Scalia has something to do with this.

My guess is that he is confused, because Scalia is no longer there to tell him what to think:
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for the first time in a decade, asked questions from the bench during oral arguments, according to reporters present at Monday's Supreme Court hearings. His questions pertained to the rights of domestic abuse offenders to have a gun, in a case considering a federal law banning convicted abusers from owning guns.

The 10-year anniversary of the last time the conservative justice asked a question came just this month. In the period, however, Thomas did make a comment from the bench, but it was not a question. He has said that he would prefer to end oral arguments at the Supreme Court.
It appears that he was asking questions that had nothing to do with the actual issues raised by the litigants, so I am wondering if this exercise in "got from a Cracker Jack box judging" is an homage to the memory of Scalia, who frequently raised issues not brought forward by the litigants, and on many occasions assuming facts not in evidence. (Scalia's Hobby Lobby opinion is a particularly egregious example)


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