Justice Thomas asks questions in court, 1st time in 10 years

by
February 29, 2016

Justice Clarence Thomas stunned lawyers, reporters and others at the Supreme Court on Monday when he posed questions during an oral argument for the first time in 10 years.

It was the second week the court has heard arguments since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Thomas’ friend and fellow conservative. Thomas for years sat directly to Scalia’s right. Scalia’s chair is now draped in black in a tribute to his death on Feb. 13.

Thomas’ questions came in a case in which the court is considering placing new limits on the reach of a federal law that bans people convicted of domestic violence from owning guns.

With about 10 minutes left in the hourlong session, Justice Department lawyer Ilana Eisenstein was about to sit down after answering a barrage of questions from other justices. Thomas then caught her by surprise, asking whether the violation of any other law “suspends a constitutional right.”

Thomas’s unusual silence over the years has become a curiosity over the years. Thomas has previously said he relies on the written briefs and doesn’t need to ask questions of the lawyers appearing in court.

  • 1EdMeadows83

    Scalia was not Thomas’ friend, he was Thomas’ puppet-master!

  • JB Wright

    “whether the violation of any other law “suspends a constitutional right.”
    It’s about time somebody in a position of authority asked this question, one might think the answer is obvious but one would overestimate the wisdom of said authority. With Thomas asking this fundamental question that gets right to the core of the issue, kind of makes me wish he’d ask more questions.

    Even if he doesn’t feel he needs to ask questions as he feels he has a solid understanding of the issue, his asking such relevant questions among the other justices (as well as prosecutors and lawyers) could well sway the opinion of the court. Even with decades of practice it is pretty difficult to put up any good argument against the obvious answer to his most basic question.

    • slbush7

      What is wrong with the rest of the justices if they aren’t asking why one of them died so mysteriously? Are they scared they will be next?

  • Vangie Martinez

    If a person is “Convicted” of “Domestic Violence” it doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that they should not have the privilege of owning a gun. They lost their 2nd Amendment Right to me if they have been Convicted of Domestic Violence. Just like those who are Crazy and Mental. Those are the ones who should not own a gun. Just plain Common Sense.

  • Patroit

    Liberals Judges make decisions on political lines rather than by constitutional laws . Which is a disgrace to the office they hold .

    • slbush7

      Yes Justice Roberts needs to go. He is a menace to America.

    • 1EdMeadows83

      But they hold the office, not you.

  • joe s

    A great Justice and a good man.

  • AKLady2015

    Justice Thomas has said 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.

    • Rodney Steward

      I’d be letten those Southern words fly, U go Thomas!!

  • cutterguy

    He may be almost our last chance. May the Lord keep him safe.

  • Libya21

    Great to see him more active!

    • Franie

      Justice Clarence Thomas is a fine, honorable and highly intelligent man. I, for one, would like to see him become more vocal on the bench.

  • Brent Chase

    A very good question and about time he has found his voice. It does absolutely no good to make it any more illegal than it already is to own firearms. If you’re a criminal enough to sell drugs and or physically abuse someone you’re supposed to care about. They can easily acquire a firearm from someone they know. We do not need any laws against who can and can’t own firearms until we can the war from 1980s the famous “just say no” drug war. The more we put controls on something the more it becomes readily available on the black market. If somebody wants to get their hands on a firearm it is as easy as buying weed or cocaine or heroin maybe even easier. Until we can keep the drugs out of our country why even bother wasting more tax payer money on gun laws that 100% will never work.

  • Verner Laursen

    Maybe it is like the 4 year old farm boy who had never talked, when the bull turned and started after his Dad, the boy hollered out “Dad, Look out for the bull”. When asked why he talked then after not talking for 4 years, he said “Up until now there hasn’t been anything to say”.

  • Michel

    Check out YouTube: CIA HEART Attack Gun

  • Patroit

    What was the answer to the question.

    • Retired Marine

      I would like to hear that answer as well.

    • slbush7

      I want to know that as well. Like leaving in the middle of the movie and not knowing what happened next.

  • TS

    I would be inclined to believe that Thomas relied on Scalia to make the point in question and to honor his fallen comrade he will take exception and become more vocal.

  • buggs

    He had been passing his questions to Scalia before his death.

  • Jerry

    Good for Thomas. I hope he becomes more active.

    • 1EdMeadows83

      Thomas will be relegated to 9th Chair.

  • concerned educator

    Without Justoce Scalia . he may feel obligated to step up more. Great job Justice Thomas

  • Athanasios1

    no

  • Bingolady

    Justice Thomas asked an extremely relevant questions. Five stars for him.

    • Wandell Carter

      He had better watch his back and sleep with one eye open. Throw all pillows out of his bedroom.

      • Janet Johnson

        Exactly.

      • AKLady2015

        Scalia /committed suicide by knife, fork and spoon.

        • Rodney Steward

          Pray the same for Obama!!

          • AKLady

            Let me know when Obama reaches a state of morbid obesity.

          • Rodney Steward

            That wasn’t what I was talking about, but U knew that! He be morbid islama-fied, you know the death cult!!

        • betty webster

          is that your opinion or someone else’s?

          • AKLady

            Scalia was 200 pounds overweight.
            Medical terminology for that condition is “morbid obesity”.

          • AKLady

            The mechanism for excessive weight gain is clear—more calories are consumed than the body burns, and the excess calories are stored as fat (adipose) tissue.

      • william bailey

        Thats funny, “BUT” I wouldn’t rule it out either !

    • 1EdMeadows83

      Like, “What’s for Lunch?”

  • Daniel Graves

    I believe that Thomas was second only to Scalia in interpreting the law. He is a wonderful constitutional Justice.

    • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

      With the death of his friend, Justice Scalia, he may feel “the gauntlet has passed to him” to vocally defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

      • Michelle

        Amen and he will proudly stand up for his friend. It saddens me about Justice Scalia and I pray he wasn’t murdered, which is what it’s looking like, God bless him & RIP!

        • AKLady2015

          Scalia suffered many serious health problems. Most directly related to his morbid obesity.

          Basically stated, he committed suicide by knife, fork and spoon.

          • Rodney Steward

            Be nice if Obama was found this way, and I mean suicide!!

          • Old goat

            I do not like him either! However that is a terrible thing to say. Be careful what you say as it may come back on you!

          • Rodney Steward

            It’s never bad to wish bad on EVIL! I love my country, not Obama!!

          • AKLady2015

            Wishing bas on anyone is wrong.
            Obama is not evil.
            Your guy lost, not once, but twice.
            You should be over the loss by now.

          • Rodney Steward

            U don’t even know who my GUY was twice as U call it, but it was NOT the POS in there now, and it had nothing to do with his race to start with! But the brown clown has made such a big deal out of it along with the way he feels about the country, and his pathetic love of islam!

          • AKLady2015

            Well, if you did not vote for Obama, it stands to reason that you supported his opponent. However, I could be wrong.
            .
            The childish name calling and foul lamgiage does not impress anyone.

            Your religious bigotry does not impress. In fact it insults everything this Naiton was founded upon.

          • Rodney Steward

            I don’t care what U think, and I’m not trying to impress anyone, I’m just like the other 85% of the people in this country when it comes to Obama! Now considered the worst President in the history of America, and the only President to EVER WIN LIAR of the year 2 years in a row! D’N what a guy, he’s now in the same class as the highly educated Sharpton!! That’s something to really be proud of AIN’T IT!

          • AKLady2015

            Why do you believe it is acceptable to lie?

            Why do you believe it is acceptable to repeat lies?

            Why do you embarrass America this way?

          • Rodney Steward

            NO ONE has made a fool out of their self and our country, than Obama! He goes around the world apologizing to other countries about America’s ways!! That’s a slap in the face and totally embarrassing to all Americans! He’s a loser in the 1st degree! And there are NO LIES, if U think so U need to get yourself more informed or just accept the facts! People that can’t except the fact makes America look stupid and that’s EMBARRASSING!

          • AKLady2015

            America has much to apologize for – to its own people and people of other nations..

            We are known as the “Ugly American”. It is a well-deserved moniker.

            …[C]an’t accept fact makes America look stupid”. Yes it does, and your post is one that does.

            There are many lies. There are huge lies. The fact that you are too ignorant to recognize them is incredably sad.

          • Rodney Steward

            The only thing we have to apologize for is what Obama has done to other countries, the same one that call us UGLY! All U have to do is EDUCATE yourself a little bit and you’ll see the lies go away! And then you’ll think, how ignorant I have been! But it happens to a lot of people, it just takes some people a little longer to get EDUCATED!! 🙂

          • AKLady2015

            Accusation, accusation — never one fact.

            We have been called “Ugly Americans” for almost a century.

            It is a pejorative used to refer to the arrogant behavior of our people while in other countries. Suggest you read the book by that title.

          • Rodney Steward

            You feel the same way as Obama, like him, maybe U should find another country to live in and then decide how U feel about our GREAT country! This country just need to get rid of the trash that’s in it, that I call the UGLY AMERICAN’S! The facts are all around U, and if U can’t see it that’s your own fault because the other 85% of this country does!

          • AKLady

            “He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.”
            ― Brigham Young

          • betty webster

            There you go again, someone else’s thoughts….in this case, one who sold a story of magical moments to hoards of other people who bought someone else’s opinion….unfortunately on the one thing most important to get right.

          • AKLady

            You diagree with the quote?

          • betty webster

            and, by the way, one of those people is challenging the Republican candidates using stuff he himself is guilty of…..this person who bought the opinion of a man who grew a society of believers of magical moments and dedicated his life to same, wants to run our country. Please don’t take my word for it, do the research re: that theory of “magical moments”….the main man, run out of Pennsylvania for bad behavior straight to the midwest, word has it as Utah, to build a nation of his very own “minions”, for lack of a better word…God bless us all.,

          • betty webster

            What’s the matter, are you bored or just plain stupid? As far as the “ugly” American rhetoric…..speak for yourself. In your case, it’s probably true.

          • AKLady

            Ugly American (pejorative), a term used to refer to perceptions of arrogant behavior by Americans abroad

          • betty webster

            you need to lighten up and look around you to see what is happening, not just what someone else said or wrote. I wish you well, nonetheless.

          • AKLady

            P.S., I work with the disabled.

            Most are people who became 100% disabled simply because they could not afford to buy health care and could not buy insurance because of preexisting conditions.

            I hear the insults people sling when those with internal disabilities park in handiacpped reserved parking.

            I hear how people talk about them “cheating” the system.

          • betty webster

            And your point is?

          • betty webster

            Figures, someone else’s opinion, always easier than thinking. You need to start engaging YOUR own brain. Just trying to help,

          • AKLady

            Thank you for your input.
            I will take it under consideration.

          • 1EdMeadows83

            Question: What was Ronald Reagan’s best role?
            Answer: President of the United States!

          • AKLady2015

            Good one.
            Congress tripled the debt during his administration.

          • Rodney Steward

            There’s no number for Obama’s debt!

          • AKLady2015

            Congress spends the money.

          • Bingolady

            Maybe. Many people do that.

      • Franie

        Let’s hope so.

      • 1EdMeadows83

        Oh now, that’s just peachy keen! Why not pick Cedric the Entertainer as Chief Justice!

  • icemancold

    WELL this law can not be allowed to stand because of the ability of a pissed off woman abusing it. As it is written all a woman has to do is say a man slapped her and the man loses his right to own guns. Wrong ! Now if the man threatenes said woman with a weapon then by all means take away his right to own guns. Now if this law remains it will lead to if you are charged with DUI you lose your right to own guns or if you are charged with indecent exposure the same happens or if you are charged with peeping in windows or public urination etc. This is where this law will lead eventually if you set foot out your door you will lose your second amendment rights.!!

    • Me Again

      Women like men commit domestic abuse, MEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO MURDER THEIR WIVES, NOT VICE VERSA

      • boone1

        Bullshit lady women kill just like men do.

        • Me Again

          i believe i said that, thanx

    • David Kledzik

      I agree.

    • concerned educator

      You need to be convicted or plead guilty. Not just be accused Reread article

      • Chris Robinette

        Convicted of what Jay walking? I feel that it will lead to that.

        • concerned educator

          convicted of domestic violence, I have experience with a family member. They had to plead guilty or else it would have gone to trial. I support the 2A but not paranoia

          • ohmama

            Why did you allow this person to live in your home?

          • concerned educator

            Because its almost impossible to evict (fanily) in NY after 30 days

      • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

        You need to read up on ex parte Restraining Orders and their use (and misuse) WRT the application of the “No Guns” provision of the “Lautenberg Amendment,” CE.

      • used_to_be_a_liberal

        It is true, in this article a person needs to be convicted, however, we have all seen what happens when a law comes into effect, and then how that same law is either abused or expanded upon.
        Every “Nanny State Law” every Do-Gooder type law, and every “protectionist” type of law have eventually usurped their original intent, unless the intent was for those laws, rules or polices to go beyond what the people were told they were for.
        Now, you might say, well we have to do something to stop some-one from killing some-one else. On the face of it, that sounds reasonable, and even logical. However, freedom is not free, it comes at an extremely high price, and the highest price is some-one’s life.
        So, if you are the kind of person that is willing to throw their arms in the air, give up, because you would rather have safety and security then real freedom, then there is nothing to think about, let alone talk about, except to say that one day you may not have either. This is one reason why there is nothing LIBERAL, about so-called “liberal” ideology

        • Rodney Steward

          Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety — Ben Franklin!!

        • concerned educator

          I was a victim of domrstic abuse. from a family member living in my home. It took repeated police visits and reports until this person was arrested The first time they removed the anuser they let them bacl in More calls and reports a f finally a guilty plea before they were banned from my home. I had an order of protection.the entire time its not easy to have soeone convicted im glad they took plea or this could still ne goingg on

        • AKLady2015

          Assult & battery has always been a crime. A & B ti the 1st degree is a felony.

      • BH

        With liberal activist judges, conviction won’t be hard.

        • AKLady2015

          Assult & battery is a crime — no matter who the victim is.
          Police investigate these crimes.
          Pictures are taken of the injuries.
          If the vitim seeks care in an emergency room, most states require the hsopital to notify the police.

    • Susannadanna

      The problem is that terribly abusive husbands, ex-boyfriends and even stalkers routinely ignore judicial restraining orders and their menacing threats escalate, often to the point of murder, though not necessarily by gunshot. Got any good, solution for making a Restraining Order WORK to restrain such dangerous characters?

      • AKLady2015

        I moved to Alaska.

        • Susannadanna

          Bravo! (I hope you’re happy there.)

          • AKLady2015

            The week I arrived here, a woman in Kenosha, Wisconsin was murdered by her estranged husband.
            There were multiple outstanding arrest warrents for domestic abuse. He had received three speeding tickets in the six months before her death.
            I had a Wisconsin restraining order, which the poluce were not enforcing. When I arrived here, I went to visit the Anchorage DA to see what I needed to do to have it “recognized” here. He made a photocopy. Gave me his business card, put his home phone on the back and told me: “You see him, call me. He will go to jail unless he has a d### good reason for being in Alaska.” That was 20 years ago.

    • AKLady2015

      Accusations and fact are two very different things.
      Spousal abuse is a crme.
      For a spouse, or significant other, to be charged there must be a witness or evidence.

  • boone1

    This is nothing but bullshit.Women can now get a gun taken away just by slapping her self and then calling the police on her husband and he goes to jail bullshit.

    • Me Again

      Well, Boone u sound like someone a “woman” might pull a gun on, MOST WOMEN, INCLUDING MYSELF, USE GUNS ONLY WHEN NECESSARY, WE ARE TRAINED NOT VINDICTIVE

      • David Kledzik

        But you do have to admit, there are vindictive people out there, and even one miscarriage of justice, is one too many.

        • Me Again

          I admit that, however, No LIBERAL JUDGES, THEY HAVE RUINED THE COUNTRY. The courts have been stacked by Obama he has put 39 fed judges in, 2
          Supremes, LOOK AT ROE V. WADE=MURDER,

          • David Kledzik

            Exactly, 100% agree.

      • boone1

        Lady you must belong to NOW.

        • Me Again

          NO WAY THOSE WOMEN R QUEER

          • boone1

            How the hell do you know these women are queers?Do they come over and take care of you? LOL

      • Retired Marine

        You must admit that there are some women who would do that and worse. You have a good attitude and outlook, but there are many women who would abuse a law like this.

      • boone1

        Hell lady I would take a gun away from your stupid ass being xmilitary.

  • Elizabeth Valentino

    Justice Thomas asked a question for the first time in 10 years? WOW! what got into him, I wonder.

    • Me Again

      I dont know, but the question relates to our “constitutional rights” MOST MILLENIALS DONT KNOW THERE IS A CONSTITUTION, OR BILL OR RIGHTS, having been indoctinated into communism-fascism-socialism-Marxism in the public “school” that no longer allow “free speech”

      • David Kledzik

        Well they damn well better figure it out, because it’s welcome to the real world kiddies.

        • Me Again

          Amazing to me how Parents allow their kids to remain stupid, Guess they r just as stupid

          • slbush7

            They reproduce their own kind and I call it indiscriminate breading. Call offspring, the trophy’s of unprotected sex. But that is just one opinion. Overpopulation, troll roads.

      • Rodney Steward

        AMEN!!

      • slbush7

        In school the important thing and only thing the kids learn is sports. Yea! ra ra. Football, yep, that will keep you protected.

    • Wandell Carter

      Fed up??? Maybe???

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