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Listen Carefully Or You'll Miss It: We've Got Justice Thomas On Tape

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Jim Lo Scalzo
/
EPA /Landov
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Justice Thomas' voice comes in around the 13-second mark

As it does each Friday, the Supreme Court has released audio recordings of the week's oral arguments.

Which means we can now hear what it was like when Justice Clarence Thomas broke his seven-year silence.

The official transcript says he spoke four words: "Well — he did not." The discussion at the time was about the qualifications of an attorney and it's thought that Thomas was making a joke at the expense of the Yale Law School, which he attended.

We're embedding a clip. The first voice is attorney Carla Sigler. The second is Justice Antonin Scalia. Thomas comes in around the 13-second mark. But there's some cross-talk and it's tough to hear. It sounds like he laughs afterward.

And that's it.

The last voice is Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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