The last time Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked a question from the bench was Feb. 22, 2006. At a recent appearance at the University of Kentucky, he explained why he stays so silent while his colleagues pepper the attorneys with questions during their arguments. In short, he thinks it would be pointless to speak up.
The Associated Press reports:
"I don't see where that advances anything," he said of the questions. "Maybe it's the Southerner in me. Maybe it's the introvert in me, I don't know. I think that when somebody's talking, somebody ought to listen."
… He said the lawyers presenting their cases are capable and don't need guidance from the justices: "I don't need to hold your hand, help you cross the street to argue a case. I don't need to badger you."
"We have a lifetime to go back in chambers and to argue with each other," he said. "They have 30, 40 minutes per side for cases that are important to them and to the country. They should argue. That's a part of the process.
"I don't like to badger people. These are not children. The court traditionally did not do that. I have been there 20 years. I see no need for all of that. Most of that is in the briefs, and there are a few questions around the edges."
Read more from the Associated Press.