In Saturday's NYT, Adam Liptak writes that it has been nearly five years since Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a court argument:
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.
Apparently, here is one reason why:
He has said...that he is self-conscious about the way he speaks. In his memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son,” he wrote that he had been teased about the dialect he grew up speaking in rural Georgia. He never asked questions in college or law school, he wrote, and he was intimidated by some fellow students.
Clearly, this is an insecurity that can and needs to be overcome.
From the Green Room: Don't let fear or insecurity get in the way of your being a better and more confident speaker. While the fears may be real, they can also be overcome. The payoff is immeasurable - even if you're not on the Supreme Court.