Supreme Court Tries to Tame Unruly Oral Arguments

Mr. Jay said the hybrid interrogation was a success. “It is healthy,” he said, “that we are spending an additional six minutes per defender and getting quite a few additional questions, quite a few additional lines of questions, and more participation from a larger number of judges, including, of course, Judge Thomas, who has been the third most active overtime user ”.

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch was first by far and Chief Justice Roberts was second.

It’s unclear if the recent changes were driven in part by concerns Judge Sotomayor noted, but he said the judges had become more careful.

“My colleagues are much more sensitive than before,” he said. “He’ll see us, even now, when we’re talking, a judge will say, ‘I’m sorry, did I interrupt you?'”

But she added that the 2017 study had documented something real about men’s tendency to interrupt women.

“Did I notice it as a dynamic?” she asked. “Without a doubt, before the study came out. But I don’t know a woman who hasn’t. Sadly, that’s a dynamic that exists not just on the court, but in our society at large. Most of the time, women say things and they are not heard in the same way as men who might say the same. “

“It used to happen, I noted, with great frequency to Judge Ginsburg,” Judge Sotomayor said.

In 2009, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last year, told Joan Biskupic, then from USA Today, who sometimes felt ignored at the judges’ private conferences. “I’ll say something, and I don’t think I’m a confused speaker, and it’s not until someone else says it that everyone will get on the point,” Judge Ginsburg said.

In 2018, shortly after the study appeared, Judge Ginsburg, he was asked about it. “Let’s see how it affects my colleagues,” he said. “I think it may as well.”

Leave a Comment