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ThoughtsOnline

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Slate's legal writer Dahlia Lithwick is a good liberal, so on cue she takes shots at conservative Clarence Thomas "Now, as Cookie Monster well knows, asking questions is a very good way to find out about things. Someone should tell Justice Clarence Thomas", an obvious dig at Thomas famously not asking questions at oral arguments.

And Lithwick's fawning over liberals keeps her from pointing out that asking questions at oral arguments about issues that one could - and should - have known well before oral arguments isn't a great way of impressing Cookie Monster... that is, of course, if the clueless Justice is the great liberal hope, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who not only once but twice asks questions I would be embarrassed to not have known the answer prior to oral arguments (asking whether educational and vocational training are available to the LWOP kids, and why one of the petitioner's co-perpetrators' sentences were dramatically lower than his).

If Ginsberg had prepped for this case, as one ought to be safe in presuming, and if these issues were important to her, then why didn't she find out the answers ahead of time? Neither question is such that it could only have been answered in oral arguments. And neither question, as far as I can tell, is relevant to the question before the court that day. But to suggest a liberal fave is not that bright? Not for Lithwick.