February 26, 2008

An angel named Clarence

Apparently, Clarence Thomas has not asked a single question during a Supreme Court argument in two years. That's 144 cases in a row where he has just sat quietly and, I'm not making this up, tried to get Justice Stephen Breyer to laugh:

Leaning back in his leather chair, often looking up at the ceiling, Thomas takes it all in, but he never joins in. Monday was no different. Thomas said nothing. He occasionally leans to his right to share a comment or a laugh with Justice Stephen Breyer. Less often, he talks to Justice Anthony Kennedy, to his immediate left.
Ironically, this raises a number of questions. For instance, does Thomas's vow of silence carry over into his personal life? Has anyone entertained the fact that he might actually be in a vegetative state? Can he even talk?We can, of course, only speculate, but I suspect the answer to all of those questions is probably "yes."