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Sotomayor Asks More Questions In An Hour Than Thomas Has In Years

Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:15 PM ET

Sonia Sotomayor

The Supreme Court's newest justice, Sonia Sotomayor, made her presence felt as the court began its new term Monday, the AP reports.

The Supreme Court began its new term Monday by indicating a willingness to limit how long a suspect's request for a lawyer should remain valid, and new Justice Sonia Sotomayor wasted little time in letting her voice be heard by questioning the lawyers.

Just how vocal was Sotomayor on the Monday? According to McClatchy she managed to ask more questions in an hour than the extremely taciturn Clarence Thomas has asked "over the course of several years."

The Washington Post also commented on Sotomayor's confident performance in its review of Monday's session:

Sotomayor displayed no reticence on the first day of her first term on the court; in the two cases on the docket, she asked as many questions and made as many comments as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The only sign of her newness was that she at times forgot to turn on her microphone before posing a question.

Does Clarence Thomas really ask so few questions that Sotomayor could beat his total in an hour, you may wonder. Indeed, he does. As the AP reported in February 2008, Thomas had gone 2 years and 144 cases without speaking up during oral arguments. "It is a period of unbroken silence that contrasts with the rest of the court's unceasing inquiries," the AP wrote at the time.

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