Justice Thomas Breaks Silence, Asks To Use The Men’s Room
Justice Clarence Thomas spoke in open court for the first time in seven years, amongst a myriad of questions asked to the attorneys arguing the death penalty case of Bobby Brett Howard v. Louisiana. Justice Thomas, who sits to the right of the Chief Justice, and between Justices Scalia and Breyer, was visibly uncomfortable when turned to Justice Breyer with what was thought to be a comment about the Appellant’s case.
The defense Attorneys and some of the Justices reacted with unusual vitriol at the Justice’s rude behavior. John D. Dewey, one of the defense attorneys, thought that the Justice’s interruption was inappropriate.
“A man’s life sits in his hands, and he whispers to a colleague! The case was at a poignant moment. My partner, Mr. Cheatem had just argued that, even in Louisiana, it is ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’ for a man to get the death penalty for removing a tag from a pillow, when the Justice rudely interrupted him.”
Justice Thomas was reportedly looking at his watch and shaking throughout the argument. Chief Justice Roberts was visibly upset by the interruption, as he addressed Justice Thomas.
“Mr. Justice Thomas, if you have something to say, I suggest that you share it with the rest of the court,” said Justice Roberts. Despite his admonition, Justice Thomas remained silent for the moment.
Justice Scalia, as the Justice with the most seniority, suggested to the Chief Justice that the other Justices should all sit with their hands folded, on top of the desk, silently, until Justice Thomas, “tells us what couldn’t wait to be said to Justice Breyer, and can’t be shared with the rest of the court.”
A clerk to Justice Ginsburg, who asked that his name not be mentioned, said that it is unusual for Justice Scalia to embarrass Justice Thomas, who is often thought of as his protégé.
“Rumor has it that Justice Scalia had just buried his favorite pet rat. That could explain why he treated Justice Thomas that way,” said the clerk.
Justice Thomas, apparently not wishing to embarrass the other Justices, broke his seven year silence: “I only want to know where the bathroom is.”
By TGE correspondent Jello Marx