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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a word from Clarence Thomas - we're just not exactly sure what it is. The Supreme Court justice had gone seven years without saying a word in oral arguments. Then yesterday, Justice Thomas spoke.

Several justices were talking at once, leaving his exact remark unclear. But a detailed contextual analysis by The New York Times suggests he told a joke, saying a law degree from Yale or Harvard might be proof of incompetence. He's a Yale grad.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.