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DC Dicta asks: When will Thomas break his silence?

“So I don’t quite understand where Gay, which is subsequent to — to this case — where Gay comes in because it didn’t seem to be the standard that the trial court applied.”

That’s the last thing Justice Clarence Thomas said from the bench on Feb. 22, 2006 during oral arguments in the case Holmes v. South Carolina - and the last time the justice has said anything from the bench.

If Thomas keeps mum through the next two scheduled days of oral argument this term, Feb. 19 and 20, that will bring the length of his silent streak to two full years.

Even on cases where DC Dicta thought Thomas might chime in – such as the Nov. 6, 2007 oral arguments in Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, when Justice Antonin Scalia berated the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (which was once helmed by Thomas), the justice remained silent, except for off-the-record whispering with his bench neighbor Justice Stephen Breyer.

So we now turn to our readers for predictions. When do you think Thomas will speak? Is there a particular pending case or subject matter he’s likely to chime in on? What do you think he will say? Give us your thoughts in the comments field below. Feel free to have fun with this one.

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