WASHINGTON, D.C. - Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did something for the first time in 10 years. He asked a question during oral arguments before the court.
It’s not necessarily a miracle, but breaking his decade-long silent streak is newsworthy. And the fact that he has kept his mouth shut for so long is a bit curious. But Justice Thomas has his own reasons for staying quiet.
He says he prefers to evaluate the written arguments before a case begins. He also believes it`s more important to hear the case from advocates on both sides of the issue.
This particular case concerns a federal law that bans people convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun. The question that broke his silence contained 20 words. “Can you think of another constitutional right that can be suspended based upon a misdemeanor violation of a state law?"
Here’s another question: Why speak up now?
Some say he's stepping up to replace the more aggressive voice of his closest ally on the bench, the late Justice, Antonin Scalia. So far, no one has argued against that supreme opinion.