Clarence Thomas the Questioner
39 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 21 Feb 2017
Date Written: November 1, 2016
One of Justice Clarence Thomas’s most remarked upon characteristics is his reluctance to ask questions during oral argument. Many have criticized him for his silence. Others defend his silence, noting, for instance, that historically oral argument played a much less significant role and that the Justice’s written opinions speak for themselves. What has been overlooked in this debate, however, is the fact that Justice Thomas is talented at asking questions. Indeed, in many ways, he is a model questioner. Drawing on the most comprehensive collection of Thomas’s oral argument questions ever compiled, we urge the Justice to ask more questions for a new reason: he is good at it.
Keywords: United States Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, oral argument, judicial behavior
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation