The Silence of Clarence Thomas

From the NY Times:

A week from Tuesday, when the Supreme Court returns from its midwinter break and hears arguments in two criminal cases, it will have been five years since Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a court argument.

If he is true to form, Justice Thomas will spend the arguments as he always does: leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling, rubbing his eyes, whispering to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, consulting papers and looking a little irritated and a little bored. He will ask no questions.

In the past 40 years, no other justice has gone an entire term, much less five, without speaking at least once during arguments, according to Timothy R. Johnson, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. Justice Thomas’s epic silence on the bench is just one part of his enigmatic and contradictory persona. He is guarded in public but gregarious in private. He avoids elite universities but speaks frequently to students at regional and religious schools. In those settings, he rarely dwells on legal topics but is happy to discuss a favorite movie, like “Saving Private Ryan.”

Reporter Hospitalized After Grammy’s Report

From the NY Daily News:

Serene Branson was broadcasting live outside the Staples Center for CBS 2 News in Los Angeles, and was set to share the “highlights and backstage coverage” from the music awards, according to anchorman Paul Magers.

Things went wrong, however, when the newscast cut to Branson, as her speech slurred and words became incomprehensible.

“Well, a very, very heavy burtation tonight,” she starts to say, but her words quickly melt into indecipherable sounds.

She struggles to speak for nearly 10 seconds, clearly aware she is having problems, before the video cuts away to pre-recorded Grammy coverage.

Branson was taken to the hospital after the broadcast according to a report from London’s Daily Telegraph. She received two Emmy nominations and previously worked as a journalist for KCAL 9 in Sacramento.