“Can you give me — this is a misdemeanor violation. It suspends a constitutional right. Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?”
I wonder if Scalia's absence played a role. No doubt, Thomas aligns closely with Scalia's judicial philosophy. Maybe Thomas was always happy to let Scalia take the lead in oral arguments. It will be interesting if Thomas starts asking questions more.
For the uninitiated, Thomas is legendary for his reputation for not asking questions during oral argument.