No I’m not talking about the Grammy awards this morning but instead how Justice Clarence Thomas has managed to keep quiet in the last 5 years.
According to the New York Times 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.
Justice Thomas’s epic silence on the bench is just one part of his enigmatic and contradictory persona. He is guarded in public but gregarious in private.
He avoids elite universities but speaks frequently to students at regional and religious schools. In those settings, he rarely dwells on legal topics but is happy to discuss a favorite movie, like “Saving Private Ryan.”
Justice Thomas has given various and shifting reasons for declining to participate in oral arguments, the court’s most public ceremony; stating that, “he is self-conscious about the way he speaks.”
In his memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son,” he wrote “that he had been teased about the dialect he grew up speaking in rural Georgia.” “He never asked questions in college or law school and was intimidated by some fellow students.”
A late pastor of mine once said, “When you don’t want people to know how dumb or ignorant you are, you just don’t open your mouth, you keep silent”.