This month will mark the 10th anniversary that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will have failed to ask a single question from the bench. Quite the feat, considering it’s been almost half a century since any other court justice went even a single term without doing so, let alone ten! What could account for this Herculean feat? Is it a matter of staunch conviction that our man has opted to sit on the sidelines? Or is it something more sinister?
As you know, Justice Thomas is not only reticent on the bench but also off of it. He rarely does interviews and refrains from going on talk shows. I thought to myself, “Surely, this great Arbiter of Justice is made of flesh and blood. If I could only get an interview with him.” The idea hit me like a ton of bricks and soon enough I was on the Chat Roulette spin-off site, DixPiqued.net, posing in drag as a comely, African-American woman in her mid-thirties. I soon regretted my decision after being exposed to an array of both flaccid and fully erect penises of all shapes and sizes. I remained stoic & soldiered on. And then, like out of some kind of scary dream, an actual U.S. Supreme Court Justice was before me scrunched into a pixelated mass on my computer screen. After some awkward back and forth, I soon realized the need to reveal my identity or this little venture could take a disturbing turn. Thomas was a bit disappointed, but soon agreed to a brief Q & A so long as i didn’t mention the words ‘Diet Coke’.
I asked him, “Marc Morial, the former National Urban League president, said you have one of the most hostile records toward the advancement of black people, what is your defense?” He responds, “I don’t do Washington. I don’t like politics.” “M’kay. Um, have you ever looked back at the controversies surrounding your confirmation hearings and wondered if they were justified?” “It was a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.” I retorted, “What do you mean, Mr. Thomas, the woman accusing you of sexual harassment was also African-American?” “I have no further comment,” he flatly states.
I decided to change the subject and asked, “Dr. Cornell West once said, ‘If you look at his record, [Thomas] has very little sensitivity to the disadvantaged & he has some of the most cold-hearted, mean-spirited decisions that side with the powerful against the weak.’ What do you think of that statement?” He gets defensive and blurts, “Oh come on, I’m black!” I decided to leave it there lest he blow a fuse or something. I was interested in asking him about his continual taciturnity. So, I took a deep breath, and went for the kicker. “When the court returns from its winter break this month, it will reach a major anniversary, ten years since you’ve asked a single question from the bench. Why so hush, Clarence?” I could see him on the screen shuffling in his office chair a little, then he said, “I think it’s unnecessary in deciding cases to ask that many questions, and I don’t think it’s helpful . . . “ I interrupted, remembering the tenacity of Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, “Oh, come on, Your Honor! Oral arguments aren’t only about eliciting information from lawyers, they’re the justices’ first opportunity to talk about the case and sway them to your argument!” He started to stutter, “Yes, but Justice Marshall rarely asks questions. Justice Powell rarely asks questions . . . because it would be chaos like on Family Feud, I mean . . . ahem . . . uh, I guess . . . I guess . . . (a long silence ensues) . . . We’ve decided to tell you of my origin.” I looked inquisitively at something that resembled a robot short-circuiting. After a good thirty minutes of talking to this hefty-faced figurehead on a tiny screen I thought I was starting to hallucinate. Then, the monologue started . . .
Apparently, back in 1991, when Vanilla Ice and hammer pants were hot stuff, President George H.W. Bush and the Republicans had a golden opportunity to push the conservative, pro-life agenda in perpetuity, with a new opening on the Supreme Court. With the recent news that the secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had just perfected the process for a human clone that boasted a life-span of over 7,000 years, Bush had an idea. The presidency had put out feelers for a politically-correct Supreme Court nominee that was African-American, which would help with optics, was a conservative male, and, finally, was willing to hang out with old, white people all day for the rest of his life. After an exhaustive search, Bush and his aides realized that no such person existed. But there was a perfect solution. They could produce a clone that would sit on the Supreme Court and further their cause for hundreds of generations. There was once catch. The research & development nerds at DARPA never figured out how human consciousness works. So, the human clone, though anatomically perfect, is mentally an empty shell, so to speak. He then tells me the agency’s lab coats eventually figured out how to animate his brain after developing a rudimentary form of artificial intelligence, which seemed like a better choice than letting Dan Quayle pilot the body remotely.
And there you have it, folks. You see, the last time the Thomas clone tried to give an oral argument something glitched and for several thousand hours he bellowed-out reams of raw, classified data that had been lodged deep inside his hard drive. An entire forest in Maine was sacrificed to document the incident; a mistake his makers vowed never to repeat. Now, he may not be able to walk in a complete circle (it’s 1991 tech, after all) or debate the finer points of the law but you can’t deny the fact that Clarence Thomas is a marvel of modern science!