FROM THE ARCHIVE

Justice Thomas: Cases decided on briefs

Facebook Twitter Google+ Email
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2002

Supreme Court Justices have their "minds made up" on a case before it goes to oral argument, Justice Clarence Thomas said.

Thomas spoke to students at the Kansas University School of Law on Tuesday. He said he makes his decisions on the briefs submitted in court cases and doesn't think rounds of questioning do any good.

"I don't see a need for all those questions," he said, The Lawrence Journal-World reported. "I think justices, 99 percent of the time, have their minds made up when they go to the bench. Also, there are so many questions you have to elbow your way in. I think it's unseemly for the Supreme Court to look like the 'Family Feud.'"

Thomas also urged students and others to read the decisions. He said the media has portrayed him unfairly because they haven't read his opinions properly.

The Supreme Court on December 2 will hear oral arguments in two breach of trust disputes. The briefs have already been submitted in the White Mountain Apache and Navajo Nation cases.

Get the Story:
Justice takes time for Q & A (The Lawrence Journal-World 10/30)
Supreme Court justice enjoys learning from law students (The Lawrence Journal-World 10/29)

Related Stories:
Study finds few Indian trust wins (10/21)
Tribes await Supreme showdown (10/17)
Peabody sides with Bush administration on trust (09/04)
U.S. argues limits as trustee (8/9)
Legal tactics land Peabody in hot seat (7/22)
Griles slammed for ignorance (7/12)
Breach of trust case brings $13.8M (7/3)
Griles can't explain trust standards (6/27)
Navajo royalty case accepted (6/4)
Don Hodel's Navajo Folly (6/4)
Supreme Court accepts Navajo trust case (6/3)
Navajo royalty case up for review (5/30)
Supreme Court considers 'deception' of trust (5/22)
Action due on Navajo trust case (5/20)
Court to decide limits of trust duty (4/23)
Bush wants Navajo ruling reversed (3/27)
Court rules Navajo Nation owed money (8/14)
Apache Tribe wins trust case appeal (5/17)
Tribe wins trust case appeal (5/14)