Justice Thomas Speaks In Boyer v. Louisiana

By now most of the legal world was rocked on its heels with the news that Justice Clarence Thomas spoke during an oral argument has recovered.  This video segment appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
There has been a lot of dispute about exactly what Justice Thomas said because it was hard to hear him. Apparently he was reacting to an attorney’s suggestion that a defendant’s lawyer was a good lawyer, having gone to Yale. Some claimed that Justice Thomas, a Yale graduate, seemed to dispute that.  The claim has been that Justice Thomas said, in a mysteriously eloquent way,  “Well—he did not.” Because the Justice was hard to hear and more importantly because his comment was so unexpected no one knows if Justice Thomas actually intended anyone to hear what he said. Until today it was arguable that the instant replay ruling would find that he did not officially say anything thereby preserving his unspoken streak of oral arguments. In fact there has been speculation in some legal circles that Justice Thomas would use a challenge flag in an attempt to preserve his silence streak.( pursuant to a new rule adopted by the Supreme Court’s competition committee each Justice can challenge two such rulings each term but they lose a time out if their challenge does not prevail).  Alas no flag was thrown and the official U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcript has been released. Apparently Justices can do the same thing Senators can do in the Congressional Record. Both apparently can revise and extend their  remarks. See page 42 of the newly revised official transcript of oral argument in Boyer v. Louisiana, No. 11-9953, to find the latest version of what Justice Clarence Thomas said after seven years of silence.

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