Justice Thomas speaks for 1st time in 7 years

Justice Thomas speaks for 1st time in 7 years

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

US Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas participates in the courts official photo session on October 8, 2010 at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 15 at 9:55 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Clarence Thomas did something at a Supreme Court argument Monday for the first time in nearly seven years — he spoke.

But what Thomas said is not clear, other than he appears to have joked about Ivy League lawyers.

The argument transcript only records a few words. It quotes Thomas as saying, "Well, he did not..." Several justices laughed in response.

Louisiana lawyer Carla Sigler replied: "I would refute that, Justice Thomas."

Two lawyers in the courtroom said Thomas was joking about Ivy League law school graduates, although one said it was at the expense of Thomas' alma mater, Yale, and the other said rival Harvard was the butt of the joke.

Thomas hasn't asked a question in court since February 22, 2006.

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