January 15, 2013 |
Not since "Garbo Talks!" has a public figure's decision to speak attracted such attention. I'm referring, of course, to the media sensation created this week when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas broke an almost seven-year-long silent streak to crack a joke during oral arguments in a case involving the adequacy of counsel in a Louisiana murder case. As The Times' David Savage reported, most of what Thomas said was drowned out by cross-talk, but apparently he had some fun with the idea that one of the lawyers in the case should be considered qualified because she attended Yale Law School, Thomas' alma mater but an institution about which he has mixed feelings.
January 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - It's a slow news day at the U.S. Supreme Court when the biggest story is whether an overheard, offhand comment by Justice Clarence Thomas means he has broken his nearly seven-year streak of silence. Thomas has never liked asking questions during the court's oral arguments. He insists the justices should listen, rather than interrupt the advocates. He last asked a question on Feb. 22, 2006, and his silent streak has taken on a legendary significance. But Thomas is not entirely quiet.
January 12, 2013 |
In the documentary "Anita," which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in four sold-out screenings beginning Saturday, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock focuses her lens on law professor Anita Hill (who hadn't yet seen the film at press time). More than 20 years after Hill accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in turbulent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Hill is an author, professor of social policy, law and women's studies at Brandeis University's Heller School of Social Policy and Management and a frequent speaker on sexual discrimination and civil rights.
June 26, 2012 |
The first day of a big week for the third branch of government brought a ruling on Arizona's immigration law that was less than satisfying for Justice Antonin Scalia and the Rush Limbaugh wing of the U.S. Supreme Court. A five-vote majority that included Chief JusticeJohn G. Roberts Jr.struck down all but one provision of the controversial statute, asserting that the federal government has preeminent authority for setting immigration policy. They did leave intact the most controversial element of Arizona's disputed law -- the mandate placed on local police to determine the immigration status of anyone detained for other violations if there is reason to suspect that person is in the country illegally -- but they ruled that taking further steps to kick undocumented persons out of the country or to keep them from seeking work or require that they carry documentation of citizenship are not powers allocated to the states. Scalia scoffed at this.
June 4, 2012 |
When can you be arrested for talking to someone? When can you be arrested for touching them? When the person you're talking to or touching is the vice president of the United States, it seems. On June 16, 2006, Steven Howards spotted Vice President Dick Cheney, who was coming out of a shopping mall in Beaver Creek, Colo., and chatting amiably with several people. Howards approached the vice president and allegedly pushed or touched him on the shoulder as he told him that his "policies on Iraq are disgusting.
November 11, 2011 |
For Herman Cain, the comparisons to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas have shifted from implied to explicit after a joke the candidate made about Thomas accuser Anita Hill. According to Fox News, Cain was at a campaign event in Michigan on Thursday when someone in the crowd brought up Hill. Cain replied, laughing, “Is she going to endorse me?” ( Watch video below .) The group surrounding Cain - almost all men by the look of the video - guffawed. It was 20 years ago this year that Thomas was embroiled in a bitter fight on Capitol Hill after Hill emerged late in his confirmation process to accuse of him of sexual harassment.