Transcript: Justice Clarence Thomas breaks silence from Supreme Court bench

January 14, 2013

Justice Clarence Thomas broke his nearly seven-year silence on the Supreme Court bench during oral arguments in the case of Boyer v. Louisiana on Monday. Unfortunately, it is unclear what he actually said. Here is the exchange, excerpted from the transcript:

MS. SIGLER: Well, there was a provision -­ there is a provision in Louisiana law that allows someone to move for the admission and the certification of somebody as capital counsel, which was the procedure employed in this case. That is perfectly permissible. But Miss Lehman at that time was a very experienced attorney, and we lay out her qualifications in the brief. So while she may not have been perfectly qualified under Rule 31 to serve as lead counsel, she was certainly more than qualified -­

JUSTICE SCALIA: She was a graduate of Yale law school, wasn’t she?

MS. SIGLER: She’s a very impressive attorney. Mr. Singer -- of the three that he had -- he was a

JUSTICE SCALIA: And another of his counsel, graduate of Harvard law school, wasn’t he?

MS. SIGLER: Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE SCALIA: Son of a gun.

JUSTICE THOMAS: Well -- he did not -­

(Laughter.)

MS. SIGLER: I would refute that, Justice Thomas.

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