U.S. Supreme Court
One Big Happy High Court Family? New Justice Changes Chemistry, Thomas Says
Posted Sep 4, 2009 8:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Justice Clarence Thomas says the addition of a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court is like bringing in a new family member.
Thomas is one of several justices who reflected on the changes in an interview with C-SPAN for its planned series of broadcasts on the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the third new justice to join the court in four years, and the prospect is apparently a bit traumatic to some justices, the Washington Post reports.
"As far as the composition of the court, you're bringing in basically—and this word can be overused—you're bringing in a family member," Thomas told C-SPAN. "It changes the whole family. … You have to start all over. The chemistry is different."
Even one of the court’s newer members, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., used the family comparison. "You quickly get to view the court as . . . composed of these members, and it becomes kind of hard to think of it as involving anyone else. I suspect it's like people look at their families,” Roberts said.
The C-SPAN series begins Oct. 4, but it released some of its footage early, the Post story says.