An odd thing happened at the Supreme Court yesterday during oral arguments in the case Pearson v. Callahan.
Justice Antonin Scalia was silent.
As other justices questioned the attorneys arguing the case – which considers whether allowing a police informant into a home constitutes consent for police entry – Scalia didn’t say a word. No questions, no comments, no jokes – no nothing.
Not since DC Dicta has covered oral arguments at the Court has Scalia sat through oral arguments in a case without chiming in once. Scalia – known for his tough questioning, wisecracking, humor and willingness to sometimes argue the attorneys’ cases for them – did participate in questioning in the other two cases before the Court yesterday. But his silence during Pearson was perhaps the most a noticeably unusual event since Justice Clarence Thomas last asked a question.
You can find more on oral arguments in Pearson here on Lawyers USA‘s website.