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Health Care / Supreme Court

Justice Thomas Comments on Health Care Case

His words are closely watched as the Court deliberates.

Justice Clarence Thomas played down the importance of oral arguments.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)

photo of Margot Sanger-Katz
April 6, 2012

Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court justice famous for almost never asking questions at oral arguments, defended his desire to stay mum during the recent marathon health care arguments, the Associated Press reports.

In a talk at the University of Kentucky on Thursday night, Thomas said that the questions are a waste of time, because they interfere with the advocates' ability to argue their cases. “I don’t see where that advances anything,” he said.

When asked specifically about the health care arguments, he added: “We have a lifetime to go back in chambers and to argue with each other,” he said. “They have 30, 40 minutes per side for cases that are important to them and to the country. They should argue. That’s a part of the process.... I don’t like to badger people. These are not children."

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