Question of the Week
July 3, 2019, 9:56 am CDT
Front row, from left: Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Clarence Thomas; Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.; Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel A. Alito. Back row, from left: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Brett M. Kavanaugh. Photo by Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Justice Clarence Thomas is known for rarely speaking during oral arguments. But a chatty and jovial Thomas appeared in the courtroom last month in an interview before members of the Supreme Court Historical Society. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has risen to pop culture prominence, as shown in the ABA Journal’s October 2018 cover story. She even recently won an MTV award for best real-life hero.
And a few justices, including Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen G. Breyer, are exercising their power of the pen by writing books.
Many have signature phrases and styles when questioning lawyers during oral arguments. Sotomayor often interrupts a lawyer by saying “I’m sorry,” even though her tone suggests that she isn’t really sorry, the Associated Press reported last year. And Gorsuch often tells a lawyer that he needs help understanding something. Ginsburg often is the first justice to ask a question.
This week, we’d like to ask: Who’s your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice—living or dead—and why? Is it a justice who’s been in the spotlight more recently or, perhaps, one whose views are similar to yours? Or are you fan because of his or her ability to write compelling opinions and dissents? Do you have any past favorite justices who’ve retired?
Check out last week’s question: What’s one thing you wish the public understood about the U.S. legal system?
Posted by Marilyn D. Walton on Twitter:
“I wish the public understood their vital role in the legal system, that the law is a friend to the just and layers a means to justice. I want people to feel they have ownership in this system.”
Do you have an idea for a future Question of the Week? If so, contact us.