Saturday, October 24, 2009

More listening and more diversity needed on SCOTUS, says Justice Thomas

Justice Clarence Thomas, in a talk at the University of Alabama School of Law, yesterday


reportedly said that the Justices already know where they stand before oral argument, and asked,

"So why do you beat up on people if you already know? I don't know, because I don't beat up on 'em. I refuse to participate. I don't like it, so I don't do it."

(The recent USA Today article we discussed here described Clarence Thomas' questioning style as "silent in his seat.")

The Tuscaloosa Times reported  that Thomas also stated that he "preferred to hire law clerks from modest backgrounds," and was quoted as stating, “There are too many up there who think they should be there because they’re from an elite background.”

And as the Montgomery Advertiser reported, Thomas advocated for more diversity:

A native of Georgia and the only current justice from the South, Thomas said the court is too dominated by Ivy League lawyers and lacks regional diversity. People constantly worry about racial, gender and ethnic diversity, he said, and home states matter, too.

"My goal is to have a court that is fair, and I think it's fair when we are fair in selecting people from all parts of the country, from all walks of life," Thomas said.

The newspaper continued, however, that "Thomas graduated from the Yale University law school," adding that  "eight of the nine current justices graduated from Ivy League schools."


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Why not now and again quietly and respectfully ask questions, serving as a model on how to do it? He asked a question in the losing college affirmative action case that was quite interesting. A black justice quietly challenging the assumption of a black advocate.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 26, 2009 2:06:47 PM

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