U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito said he’s “somewhat displeased” about the flurry of articles this year on fellow Associate Justice Clarence Thomas’ silence on the bench, in a Law Day speech today.
None of the articles mentioned that Thomas’ practice of not asking questions during oral arguments is “exactly the same as the practice of the person almost universally regarded as the greatest Supreme Court justice ever — John Marshall,” Alito said.
Marshall, who served as chief justice for 34 years starting in 1801, is credited with increasing the authority of the court. During his time, justices sat and listened to oral arguments, Alito told an audience of Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis lawyers at a downtown hotel.
Alito pointed to the coverage of Thomas as an example of his 9th point on a Top 10 list highlighting some things people “don’t know or are tempted to forget” about the court.
“Some of what is written about us is misleading or just plain wrong,” Alito said.