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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Hasn't Asked a Question in a Decade

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    United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas delivers a speech at Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington & Lee University, in Lexington, Va. on Monday, March 16, 2009.

    Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas hasn't asked a question from the bench since 2006. 

    And this streak is a record. No other justice in modern history has gone more than a term without asking questions during oral arguments. For the legal community, it 's a source of angst and curiosity. 

    The last time Thomas asked a question was Feb. 22, 2006, during arguments on a death penalty case.

    No one knows quite why Thomas chooses to abstain as he does. Some have pointed to his prior remarks about growing up self-conscious about his rural Georgia accent. But the more likely explanation is that Thomas believes he learns more if he keeps quiet.

    "I just think that it's more in my nature to listen rather than to ask a bunch of questions," he told high school students in 2000. "And they get asked anyway."