February 4, 2010

"If my colleagues would let me talk..." — Justice Thomas jokes about why he doesn't speak at oral argument.

Scroll to 33:40 in this video of Thomas's Q&A with University of Florida Law School students.

19 comments:

thesconz said...

That's funny –– I was under the impression that Thomas had never told a joke in his life.

Patm said...

Always liked Thomas, and his speeches are terrific.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

It wasn't really a joke; rather it was a lead up to an interesting response to a naive question.

Thomas basically says that good oral argumenters are those who know the facts and who can make their case clearly.

But those are the same things that make for good written argument.

I really like this attitude. More substance, he seems to be saying, and less performance. And then he says some latin shit that I don't understand because I didn't go to laawwwwssschhooolll...

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, get out. "Sine qua non" is not a special law term.

blake said...

Yeah, sine qua non is the ne plus ultra of Latin phrases.

Lem said...

So, Justice Thomas wants us to be civil to each other..

Boooring ;)

As you can see in the video, our president was right about 'fat cats'.

Chip Ahoy said...

Eventually we won't talk at all and like tails our speaking organs will be vestiges of a discarded past. 100% of scientific fact it's already started. Brown sworn in telepathically. Or possibly I made it up.

Chris said...

You can't go wrong listening to this speech. Not surprising since he is a Supreme Court Justice.

ricpic said...

Eventually we won't talk at all...

Obviously the Chipster grew up in a yenta free zone.

victoria said...

He is about as fascinating as watching paint dry.

It would have more resonance except for the fact that it is widely known that he does not write his own arguments or, when he has to write an opinion, he doesn't write his own opinions. Lets the clerks do the heavy lifting.


Vicki from Pasadena

Paul Zrimsek said...

Yeah, sine qua non is the ne plus ultra of Latin phrases.

This is almost like having Simon back again.

madawaskan said...

I love his motto-

"your calling card is your credibility."

Patm said...

He's got a great laugh.

Chris said...

He is a charming dude.

blake said...

Yeah, Vicki, 'cause how could a black man possibly write his own opinions, especially those in opposition to your enlightened views.

traditionalguy said...

Thomas is a great example of the wisdom of ending cruel segregation laws and educating every man and woman who will do the work. That only happened 46 years ago in Georgia, outside of the Catholic Church schools. He is a pioneer that had the same guts as the other pioneers in coming over to the Colony of Georgia and working for all that they got. And he loyally loves Lincoln, the Republican President/Trial Lawyer who had the guts to preserve the traditions of the Union against an adamant pro slavery insurrection against great odds, until September 1,1864 when Sherman's Army delivered Atlanta, and with it the election, and marched on to Savannah to free Thomas's great grand parents along with Savannah as Lincoln's Christmas present.

Revenant said...

Nice interview. Thanks for linking to it!

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Vicki said: "It would have more resonance except for the fact that it is widely known that he does not write his own arguments or, when he has to write an opinion, he doesn't write his own opinions. Lets the clerks do the heavy lifting."

Vicki, hon, that's the case for EVERY judge and justice who has clerks (I've heard Justice Stevens is somewhat of an odd exception).

I am a law clerk (not for anything like SCOTUS). My job is to write opinions, with guidance and approval of the judges for whom I work. That's what the clerks are there for. Please try to understand things before you criticize them blindly.

Stan said...

He's special. Intelligent. Humble. Self-aware. Wise enough to appreciate that the judiciary must exercise self-control and understand the appropriate limits of its role in policy and law.

He must be one of the wisest men in Washington. Not that there's much competition for that honor.