Justice Thomas Speaks Out

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is known for not asking questions during oral arguments. Thomas has not asked a question from the bench in 6 years and no other Supreme Court justice has made it through a single year without asking a question.

in an AP interview, he defended his silence. Thomas said the habit of frequent interruptions is unproductive and “I think that when somebody’s talking, somebody ought to listen.”

Thomas claims that most of the information is already in the briefs and amicus curiae, “and there are a few questions around the edges.”

They don’t call it an oral monologue. It’s called an oral argument. This is the opportunity for the Justices to test the validity and soundness of the attorney’s arguments. It would be a waste of time for attorneys to get up before the Court and simply recite their briefs.

Thomas concludes by saying “I don’t like to badger people.” Is that how he sees it? Either you remain utterly silent or you badger people? In logic, this is know as the False Dichotomy fallacy. This type of logical fallacy occurs when only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

H/T: The Hill, The Washington Post.

69 thoughts on “Justice Thomas Speaks Out

  1. I never argued a case before the Supreme Court but did argue before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and, a much longer time ago, probably in 1968, before the Court of Military Appeals. I looked forward to questions from the bench because they permitted me to focus on points that were troubling the judges. Rarely did I have to go through an entire argument without questions and when I did it was quite boring. Judge, now Justice, Ginsburg was on the bench during several of my arguments and I have no recollection that she had a tendency to ask probing questions.

  2. Nal:

    “Thomas concludes by saying ‘I don’t like to badger people.’”

    *******************

    Can we get an Anita Hill comment on this assertion, please?

  3. MM….. Very good…

    But you can also look at it from the perspective of his wife…… He will only speak when he is told too…….

  4. Justice Thomas seems to live by the aphorism: “Better to keep the mouth closed and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”

    Unfortunately for Justice Thomas, not only does his closed mouth make him appear stupid, but on the few occasions when he opens it, he confirms the appearance.

  5. Why ask questions when you already have your mind made up? They could move a lot more cases though the court if they didn’t waste time pretending to care what the lawyers want to argue before them in chambers.

    Hell, since the little 5 are so obvious in their opinions, most cases could be decided by Cokie Roberts telling us what they think. The clerks write the opinion to match bullshit rationalizations they want to bring

  6. The other eight justices badger the lawyers incessently. It is not an oral argument. Justice Thomas need not ask a single question in twenty years with these schmucks with their Bronx accents jabbering and poking their points to the audience. Dog forbid that they ever televise these events. The orals are bad enough. The drama this past week with the health care showed me only that Scalia and the federal bench are no more entitled to ScaliaCare than I am to medical care on the public dime. AARP exists to sell us medical insurance. It is time that the talkindogs on the bench have to pay up like the rest of us. The two new Justices were heard on television in an interview recently lamenting the fact that they have to jump in with their questions right away or get frozen out. Justice Thomas may be a bad Justice but it is not because he keeps mum in oral argument. As he said when he was an Assistant Missouri Attorney General back in Jefferson City, MO in the seventies when asked about the Confederate Flag on the wall behind his desk in his office: I am unreconstructed. Y’ll know what that means do you not?

  7. Thomas is a shabby excuse for a Justice and a poor excuse for a decent human being.

    He was appointed by George H.W. Bush, and we should never forgive Bush for that.

  8. Anonymously Yours,

    Justice Thomas’s wife only allows him to count her income on their joint tax returns when not doing so becomes too scandalous for even our lawless corporate oligarchs to abide. Others have gotten theirs, so Justice Thomas feels fully entitled to get his, too — whatever they and he consider theirs and his.

    “When Rodrigo Borgia was 62, after 35 years as Cardinal and Vice-Chancellor, his character, habits, principles or lack of them, uses of power, methods of enrichment, mistresses and seven children were well enough known to his colleagues in the College and Curia to evoke from young Giovanni de’ Medici at his first conclave the comment on Borgia’s elevation to the Papacy, ‘Flee, we are in the hands of a wolf.” — Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly

    Not only a lone wolf, I fear, but a pack of five of them.

  9. For you, TalkinDog:

    “The very beasts associate the ideas of things that are like each other or that have been found together in their experience; and they could hardly survive for a day if they ceased to do so. But who attributes to the animals a belief that the phenomena of nature are worked by a multitude of invisible animals or by one enormous and prodigiously strong animal behind the scenes? It is probably no injustice to the brutes to assume that the honor of devising a theory of this latter sort must be reserved for human reason.” Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion

    Whether Dog has blessed or cursed America with Justice Thomas remains an interesting exercise for human reason but not, in my opinion, a terribly difficult one.

  10. He’s an incurious man who reads the briefs, thinks they contain all the information he needs to render a decision, and has no questions. That does not speak well of his intellect.

  11. Has anyone ever seen Thomas speak at the same time as Scalia? Ventriloquism isn’t as easy as you might think and Scalia isn’t that talented. Unless you consider interfering with electoral process, perverting the course of justice and urinating on the Constitution talents. However, the robes do hide the arm running up Thomas’ pants so they got that going for them. Which is nice.

  12. Incurious is one way to put it, Elaine. It really isn’t an attractive quality in someone who is supposed to be serving as an impartial trier of fact. Active questioning of both benches is integral to doing the job properly. Otherwise, why have a trial with an interrogative and adversarial function? Relying solely upon briefs? He might as well be taking a nap.

  13. Thomas is but a token, with a wry twist, to the South.
    One mind less makes the Court easier to control.

    The Chief Justice gets to fancify his robe. Can’t the others bear sponsor badges and slogans like “Recontructionism Forever”?

  14. Some of Justice Thomas’ other ponderous thoughts?:
    A stitch in time saves nine…
    A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush…
    A penny saved is a penny earned

  15. Justice Thomas: “I think that when somebody’s talking, somebody ought to listen.”

    Translation: “Somebody ought to listen to themselves talking.”

    Usually, when someone speaks, someone else can, or possibly should, listen. It really helps to distinguish one person (the speaker) from another person (the listener). English provides all the linguistic resources necessary to make this distinction. Not that Justice Thomas would consider availing himself of them. Here his infrequent practice speaking demonstrates its own unfortunate consequences. Of Justice Thomas’s putative ability to speak, then, we can only conclude on the basis of the evidence:

    “If he could have, he would have; but he didn’t, so he can’t.”

  16. Mespo, et al, Thomas is still angry at being confronted by/over Anita Hill. Not only a piss poor Justice. A rather tawdry excuse for a human being. Many, most, of us have foibles. Few can get them excused at the level Thomas has.

  17. “If he could have, he would have; but he didn’t, so he can’t.”

    Argumentum e silentio, false dichotomy and fallacy of simple cause.

    Unwillingness and inability are not equivalent states and to discount one is to oversimplify the causation. To say, “If he could have, he would have; but he didn’t, so he can’t” also creates a false dichotomy by imposing the condition “if he could have, he would have”. “If he could have” is an irrelevant and manifestly false condition. He’s a SCOTUS Justice. Of course he had the authority to question. It’s part of the job description. He could have and didn’t are the facts and whether that failure to act is a function of unwillingness or inability as a matter of causation is an open question. “He could have as a matter of authority, but he didn’t. He didn’t so either he cannot as a matter of ability or will not as a matter of proclivity” is logical. To say, “If he could have, he would have; but he didn’t, so he can’t” is the very portrait of the fallacy of argument from silence. Thomas simply failed to evidence and there is more than one option to choose from in causation. In Thomas’ case, it appears to be an unknown as to whether his silence is a combination of both inability and proclivity or the province of a single cause.

  18. “He’s an incurious man who reads the briefs, thinks they contain all the information he needs to render a decision, and has no questions.”

    The briefs should contain all the information. Whether these all do is another question.

    “It really isn’t an attractive quality in someone who is supposed to be serving as an impartial trier of fact.”

    I am under the impression that a court of appeals is not supposed to be a “trier of fact” but rather is supposed to be correcting errors of law. Am I mistaken?

  19. […] http://jonathanturley.org/2012/04/08/justice-thomas-speaks-out/#more-47651 What do you think of this post?Awesome (0) Interesting (0) Useful (0) Boring (0) Sucks (0) Be Sociable, Share! Tweet(function() {var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 = document.getElementsByTagName('SCRIPT')[0];s.type = 'text/javascript';s.async = true;s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js';s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1);})(); Twitter Facebook Del.icio.us Reddit April 8, 2012 | Posted in: Donkeyrock | No Comments » […]

  20. Eniobob,
    Thanks. In return, a quote from a related article:

    ““Maintaining safety and order at detention centers requires the expertise of correctional officials, who must have substantial discretion to devise reasonable solutions to problems,” wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy for the court’s majority.”

    Which is just as hazy a constitutional floor as you can establish.

    What are the degrees of discretion and the limits of reasonable solutions?
    Was that a limited rule or was that a carte blanche to force of any kind when it suits them? Oh, yes, you are thinking about the murder power of the executive branch without the usual due process. Me, too. And they don’t need drones in county jail. Even the idea of holding a non-criminal defendant is also ridiculous.

    And “maintaining safety and order” seems to be the driving force and the rule for law “enforcement” in the George II post factor world.

  21. OT(sort of) question;
    For the lawyers…is it normal, or expected, in a NOT the supreme court…for a Judge to not ask any questions? In the face of conflicting information that is…..
    And do they ever address the people who are not the lawyers? ie to clarify information? Or is that rare?

  22. I hope I live to see the day that at least a few of the Wall St. crooks who brought down our economy with their reckless investments will be “perp-walked” off to prison where they will be strip searched in accordance with the new “Florence” decision by The Gang of Five at the U.S. Supreme Court (including Clarence Thomas). That might make some of these Wall St. crooks think twice before ripping off the American taxpayers again.

    (BTW, I am horrified by the Florence decision, but think a strip search or two might stop the Wall St. thugs from doing their dirty deeds again — they think they are so godlike and strip searches might bring them back down to where the rest of us live.)

  23. Firefly,

    I have another take on the consequences than yours.

    What the five have said is that the rule of arbitrariness governs.
    Which means no WSer will ever be stripped search. His manner, ID, and speech will guarantee that.

    Reason?
    He can exert vindicative retribution through the guard’s superiors, who can use whatever arbitrary, loosely defined rule to bust the guard for good.

    Power rules. And nothing is more powerful than money.
    Money has always the law on its side. Why do you think there is a lawyer corps—-well at least one reason, eh boys?

  24. Using my new medium the radio,I’m hearing some grumbling about all these 5 t0 4 decisions and peoples perception of a “fair & balanced”court.

  25. mahtso,

    In general, yes, but SCOTUS is different. They are not just a court of appeal (although that is the bulk of their function), but can operate as a court of first impression depending upon the nature of the claim.

  26. Sorry, mahtso, I should have been a bit clearer in that response. It was hasty upon waking from an Easter lunch induced coma. :D In general, yes you are correct, but SCOTUS is different. They are not just a court of appeal (although that is the bulk of their function), but can operate as a court of first impression depending upon the nature of the claim. The Constitution grants SCOTUS original jurisdiction in cases affecting ambassadors (and other diplomats) and in cases in which a state is a party.

    That’s better.

  27. I don’t think that Clarence Thomas should be a Supreme Court justice. Anyone who hasn’t asked any questions from the bench in six years is acting irresponsibly. He has one of the most important jobs in the United States, but he doesn’t treat it with the respect and devotion that he should. He unfairly played a deciding role in the Bush v. Gore decision – his wife was intimately involved in the Bush campaign, contributing to the corruption of that decision. Such a man does not deserve to be on the Supreme Court. You can read more of my thoughts on this at my blog, http://www.collamuse.blogspot.com.

  28. The inability to speak the English language coherently does not at all mean the same thing as refusing to speak the English language when offered the opportunity. As noted above, Justice Thomas did speak for the interview in question, and I criticized his use of language on the basis of the evidence that Justice Thomas provided. In his own words he failed to distinguish the speaker from the listener, using the identical pronoun “somebody” for both — sloppy and ambiguous..

    Now, one could argue that he “could have” spoken properly, had he, in fact, wished to do so, but for some unknown reason he chose to speak like a bumpkin instead. I think it safe to rule out this possibility. When he chose to speak, I have to assume that Justice Thomas had no intention of making a fool of himself, ironically, or otherwise. To say: “He could have, but he wouldn’t, and since he didn’t, therefore he can” offers no evidence of anything supportive of any conclusion whatsoever — and sounds like complete gibberish, to boot.

    I’ll continue to judge Justice Thomas on his misuse of language whenever he misuses it, and I refuse to speculate about how well he might possibly speak on the basis of his silent refusal to do so. As former Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld might have said, but didn’t: “The absence of evidence proves absolutely nothing, but to claim that it does constitutes the fallacy of arguing from ignorance.”

    If Justice Thomas wishes us to commend his command of articulate English, he can give us sample evidence of it. Letting his literate clerks write his opinions for him doesn’t count.

  29. idealist707:

    Of course, I agree with your points but I would like to add one thought: One of the goals in strip searches is to find any drugs a person might be hiding. It is a well-established fact that many (if not most) of the Wall St. crooks are into drugs, cocaine being a favorite. So, it is highly likely that one of them might be hiding drugs at the time of arrest. Therefore, a strip search would be called for with Wall St. crooks.

    It also might not be a bad idea for one of The Gang of Five on the Sup.Ct. to be strip searched over an unpaid fine; it might be a teaching moment for them as well.

  30. The point of Oral Argument is to discover facts and information that has not been included in the briefs, so it is stupid for Thomas to claim he doesn’t need to ask questions UNLESS one concludes that Thomas’ mind is already made up and he won’t be swayed by newly-revealed information.

    Thomas is stupid and prejudiced — a lethal combination..

  31. Back in Vietnam we had a slogan for our mediocre and endlessly self-justifying generals: “If you could have, you would have; but you didn’t, so you can’t.” The phrase meant simply: “Put up or Shut up.” Given his own furnished evidence of intellectual infirmity, Justice Thomas, to give him the benefit of the doubt, may actually understand the necessity of adopting the second alternative as much as possible.

  32. From TalkinDog:

    “… when he was an Assistant Missouri Attorney General back in Jefferson City, MO in the seventies when asked about the Confederate Flag on the wall behind his desk in his office [Clarence Thomas said]: “I am unreconstructed. Ya’ll know what that means do you not?”

    First: As another example from Justice Thomas on why he ought to speak as little as possible. Addressing his interlocutor(s) first as “You all” and then (in the same sentence) as “you” confuses the concepts of plural and singular.

    Second: Asking a rhetorical question in fact makes (and masks) a statement which assumes the unstated agreement of the listener: namely, “You know what ‘unreconstructed’ means.” This pseudo-question does not expect — and would find startling — a response by the interlocutor such as: “No, I don’t know what you mean by ‘unreconstructed.’ Please enlighten me.”

    Meaning exists in people, not in words. If Justice Thomas has no meaning, then neither his words nor his silence will either.

  33. “He could have, but he wouldn’t, and since he didn’t, therefore he can” offers no evidence of anything supportive of any conclusion whatsoever — and sounds like complete gibberish, to boot. ”

    Too bad nobody said that but you, Mr. Straw Man. What I said was “He could have as a matter of authority, but he didn’t. He didn’t so either he cannot as a matter of ability or will not as a matter of proclivity” . . . which unlike your previous statement isn’t illogical, contains no fallacy and is correct as a matter of factual evidence presented. However, after reading what you call poetry, I will stipulate you are qualified to write your own gibberish as you did above.

    “I’ll continue to judge Justice Thomas on his misuse of language whenever he misuses it, and I refuse to speculate about how well he might possibly speak on the basis of his silent refusal to do so. ”

    Well good for you! No one but you was speculating about how well he may possibly speak. Other than perhaps you. What was pointed to was your error in stating that because he didn’t speak, he cannot speak when other options are present. Again, “able to” and “unwilling to” are not the same thing. You were ignoring other options. His silence was indicative of nothing but his silence.

    “The absence of evidence proves absolutely nothing” . . . except the absence of evidence.

    Your straw man is showing again. Or perhaps it’s just your general inability to apply logic and argumentation properly. I didn’t point out that you were arguing from ignorance. I pointed out that you made three logical fallacies in your previous statement: argumentum e silentio (because Thomas is silent, he must not be able to speak), false dichotomy (if Thomas is silent, it must be because of stupidity or not) and fallacy of simple cause (there is no other causation than stupidity possible for Thomas’ actions or lack thereof). Sure, there is plenty of evidence Thomas isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that may not be his only motivation for remaining silent. The criticism was of your fallacious logic, not the probative quality of your evidence. However, I expect simplistic causal analysis from simple minds.

    “If Justice Thomas wishes us to commend his command of articulate English, he can give us sample evidence of it. Letting his literate clerks write his opinions for him doesn’t count.”

    Move those goal posts much? The topic wasn’t his clerks writing his opinions. It was his lack of questioning from the bench.

    As long as your arguments are a veritable grab bag of logical fallacies, I’ll continue to point them out. I don’t mind. Really.

  34. I have never argued a case in court, but on jury duty once in a civil suit I got to witness a judge continually berating an attorney for repeatedly doing what the judge had told him not to do. The defendant in the case did not even show up and had no attorney to represent him. The attorney for the plaintiff had no opposition and tried to take advantage of that by making claims that the judge ruled out of order. Before sending us off to reach a verdict, the judge admonished us that we could only award punitive damages — the whole point of the case before us — if the defendant had broken any laws or acted in bad faith. Since the plaintiff’s attorney had presented no evidence of fraud or other misrepresentation by the defendant, we found in the defendants favor — just following instructions.

    So I don’t begrudge justices the right to badger attorneys if the attorneys deserve it. On the other hand, if the attorneys deserve badgering and don’t get it, then perhaps the justices have not done their job. I would expect, though, that the badgering concern critical points germane to the case and its significance as legal precedent. Justice Thomas’s obdurate refusal to comment in oral arguments — for years — leads me to assume that he doesn’t even know his job, let alone how to do it. Just posing as an inscrutable Sphinx does not bespeak ageless wisdom.

  35. You really can’t understand a simple point, Gene H. I have repeatedly said that I judged Justice Thomas on the words that he spoke in the interview cited. You keep trying to assert that I criticized the English that he didn’t speak in the arguments he did not, from choice, enter.

    Also, your ad hominem and irrelevant (i.e., non sequitur comments about my poetry defeat your attempts to pose as an informed advocate for reasoned argumentation. Your frustration shows, friend.

    Additionally, your inability to distinguish poetry from reasoned argument bespeaks a depth of confusion practically beyond sounding; and your implication that one cannot do each separate justice has no basis in fact. The name “Wallace Stevens” should suffice to provide all the evidence one could want to the contrary. Some attorneys have made excellent poets, and vice versa.

    And by the way, “his silence was indicative of nothing but his silence” constitutes a tautology. “It is what it is,” “boys will be boys”, “nothing from nothing leaves nothing,” etc. Arguing from a premise by just repeating it has an analogue in the BASIC computer virus:

    START: GO TO START

    Nothing you can do with that but flip the power switch and reboot.

    The title of Professor Turley’s posting reads: Justice Thomas Speaks Out, and so we can fairly quote Justice Thomas and employ his own words in constructing our analysis of what they mean about him. Silence can indicate many things, like catatonia, for example, or even death. Saying that silence only indicates itself lapses into self-referential solipsism, what psychiatrist Robert J. Lifton calls “the thought-terminating cliche.”

    As for your football analogy, I have moved no metaphorical goalposts, but have simply blocked each of your poor punts and recovered them for touchdowns in your own end zone. Two can play at the sports metaphor game.

    By the way, and just for your edification, former Vice president Dick Cheney provided the definitive example of arguing from ignorance. When asked to provide evidence of Saddam Hussein’s non-existent “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Cheney sneered into his armpit and mumbled: “We just don’t know.” By this he meant that Saddam Hussein did indeed possess such awful bombs because America had no knowledge to the contrary! That worked on a sizable majority of the American people — not an encouraging sign, but a harbinger of violent disaster ahead.

    Finally, Justice Thomas bears the burden of proving his own worth, both through his own words and his deeds. We, on the other hand, do not bear the burden of disproving his worthlessness for him on the basis of words or actions that he does not supply. Though he has done and said little, he has done enough of both. The public can now deliberate upon its verdict of him.

  36. question that most often goes through justice thomas’s mind during arguments,”i wonder if they can see me playing with myself under these robes?”

  37. It is fun to make fun of Clarence Thomas but the sad fact is that he does great harm to this country.

  38. You can’t seem to understand that I’m criticizing your logic such as it is, MM.

    As to your critiques of logic, I’ll start caring what you think when you demonstrate that you can properly use the tool. Insulting your crap poetry is just for fun. It has nothing to do with frustration, “friend”. You aren’t mentally equipped to frustrate me. Annoy? Sure. Frustrate? Not in the slightest. I simply don’t like you. Of course, you completely misrepresenting others statements just so you can attack them all the while acting like a morally superior condescending jackass would have nothing at all to do with that. (Pst! That was sarcasm. It has everything to do with it.)

    “Additionally, your inability to distinguish poetry from reasoned argument bespeaks a depth of confusion practically beyond sounding”. Actually, your inability to distinguish creative typing from poetry doesn’t lend itself to confusion. Your poetry plainly sucks as do your arguments, albeit for completely different reasons.

    “”[H]is silence was indicative of nothing but his silence” constitutes a tautology.” No shit, genius. It also constitutes a true statement. Just because it is a tautology doesn’t mean it isn’t true despite your implication to the contrary. Tautologies are often employed in properly utilized predicate logic. You’d know this if you knew what you were talking about.

    “The title of Professor Turley’s posting reads: Justice Thomas Speaks Out, and so we can fairly quote Justice Thomas and employ his own words in constructing our analysis of what they mean about him. Silence can indicate many things, like catatonia, for example, or even death. Saying that silence only indicates itself lapses into self-referential solipsism, what psychiatrist Robert J. Lifton calls ‘the thought-terminating cliche.'”

    You’d know all about cliché and thought termination based on your writing. Sadly, again, you’re wrong. Being a tautology doesn’t make a statement false. In its barest form A=A is a tautology. It’s also the Rule of Identity and one of the foundations for the Laws of Thought. So now you’ve demonstrated (in your earlier statements) that you don’t understand the Law of the Excluded Middle (your false dichotomy), but you’ve now upped the ante to show you don’t understand the Rule of Identity. Care to demonstrate that you don’t understand the Law of Noncontradiction and score a tri-fecta? If you’re going to show how wrong you are in how you think, why not go for the gusto?

    “As for your football analogy, I have moved no metaphorical goalposts, but have simply blocked each of your poor punts and recovered them for touchdowns in your own end zone. Two can play at the sports metaphor game.”

    Again showing you don’t know what you’re talking about. Moving the goal posts isn’t just a football analogy, dingus. It’s an informal logical fallacy wherein one demand of proof is substituted for another, for example, when you take the subject of Thomas’ in court questioning and bring up his clerks writing his memos and holdings – which have nothing to do with his questioning from the bench. I could also characterize that fallacy as non-sequitur as well, but there is no need to rub your nose in it. Other than it is fun.

    “By the way, and just for your edification, former Vice president Dick Cheney provided the definitive example of arguing from ignorance. When asked to provide evidence of Saddam Hussein’s non-existent ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction,’ Cheney sneered into his armpit and mumbled: ‘We just don’t know.’ By this he meant that Saddam Hussein did indeed possess such awful bombs because America had no knowledge to the contrary! That worked on a sizable majority of the American people — not an encouraging sign, but a harbinger of violent disaster ahead.”

    So what? Irrelevant to the point that you omitted logical options that could be proper causation of Thomas’ silence.

    “Finally, Justice Thomas bears the burden of proving his own worth, both through his own words and his deeds. We, on the other hand, do not bear the burden of disproving his worthlessness for him on the basis of words or actions that he does not supply. Though he has done and said little, he has done enough of both. The public can now deliberate upon its verdict of him.”

    Again, irrelevant to your logic being fallacious.

    Like I said, as long as your arguments are a veritable grab bag of logical fallacies, I’ll continue to point them out. I don’t mind. Really.

  39. MM,

    Don’t question the logic of the only logical one. You will be proven wrong unless there is agreement that you are wrong, but that will not happen without and unless you agree that you were wrong to start with.

    Rule no 2. See rule above, you should be fine if you learn to agree. If you don’t, then you’ll be waisting efforts of yours. There are some on here that still engage in nonsensical debates with the unwilling. There you have it.

  40. id707.5,

    “Don’t question the logic of the only logical one. You will be proven wrong unless there is agreement that you are wrong, but that will not happen without and unless you agree that you were wrong to start with.”

    First, I’m not the only logical one, but thanks for the promotion. All of the guest bloggers are very good if not excellent logicians as are several of the regular commentators. Second, you will be proven wrong if you are wrong; agreement is not required. Logic and proof are required though.

    “There are some on here that still engage in nonsensical debates with the unwilling.”

    Just like there are some who would jump into something they are ill-equipped to deal with. And by nonsensical, do you mean things like people who do things like use multiple sockpuppets and threaten to reveal personal information about other anonymous posters over some personal but private matter? I know you. Don’t start none, won’t be none. We used to be friends. Whether we stay friendly or not is up to you.

    There you have it.

  41. raff,

    Agreed. Without a doubt, Thomas is an embarrassment professionally and personally. However, given the current composition of right-wing obstructionists in the Senate, how likely are we to get Thomas impeached? Not very is my read on it. The Senate is so mired in their special interest corruption that even drafting the Articles required are probably a non-starter. To me, he is (along with former CJ Rehnquist) a perfect argument for Amendment so as to change the lifetime appointment to SCOTUS to a term of years certain. 20 years on the bench is plenty.

  42. “The point of Oral Argument is to discover facts and information that has not been included in the briefs, so it is stupid for Thomas to claim he doesn’t need to ask questions UNLESS one concludes that Thomas’ mind is already made up and he won’t be swayed by newly-revealed information.”

    All the information should be in the briefs.

    I can’t say whether J. Thomas or the others have their minds made up , but many of the questions are not asked to discover facts and information, but are asked because the questioner is trying to make points with the other J’s (i.e., arguably because the J asking the questions has made up her mind).

  43. Think this is not who you think it is, Gene! I got into this when I heard others were cloning similar names. From my recollection no information has been divulged from this end. If you want to call you have my number. I did try and call you on the one i had 2 years ago and it just rings. Other than that, I have been watching what has been going on. No this is not a sockpuppet or it could be, depending on how you define socks.

  44. While I sleep, others post.

    Take Idealist707.5. He uses my moniker to denigrate me. NOT, my ideas, or my opinions, but my weaknesses. Not my offensively used weaknesses, but my innocuous ones.

    Where? On the patriarch photo comparison puzzle thread. Yesterday!

    Denigrating the handicapped, boring, mentally challenged, taking over threads “always”, and being one seeking too obviously friendship are his accusations.
    Assuming all this and more. what kind of humanity does he demonstrate?

    Doing it together with like-minded, pre-arranged or spontaneous, is more fun. So gather the vultures.

    Later, yesterday evening, he keeps the name to show he belongs to the sockpuppet gang.
    Why, because like all bullies he belongs to a gang. needing its support, not being able to attack in daylight under his own name without a mask.
    So, clad in an obviously sockpuppet name, he struts and swaggers to cast a chill among “the ordinary” people.

    His digs may have some merit. I am the first to admit and am thankful for them. But am doubtful that was his intention, but as GeneH of recent fame vv MM, would remind me, I am drawing too much out of too little evidence.

    Be what it may, that is my last acknowledgement of his existence.
    So those who read this, now know something of the mysterious appearance of an Idealist707 lookalike——calling itself 707.5

  45. One of my favorite sayings is “You don;t know what you don;t know and if you don;t know what you don;t know then you don;t know what to ask.”
    Think that sums up Thomas.

  46. One doesn’t have to badger the attorneys in trying to understand their points better. Can’t he try to understand their points better? Doesn’t he have any questions that would clarify his thinking or his understanding? Doesn’t he see any problems in their reasoning that he would like to see addressed.

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