Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 5.45.15 PMThe Supreme Court seems to be getting an unusual amount of publicity as of late, especially considering the spotlight on the justices has nothing to do with the decisions they’re making.

First it was the death of Justice Antonin Scalia that grabbed the nation’s attention.

Then it was the letter Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote about Scalia that had all eyes on her.

And then, because of all the buzz, eyes turned towards Justice Clarence Thomas.

But not for the reasons you might expect.

It turns out in the past decade Clarence Thomas has not asked a single question from the bench. Mind you he still asks questions in day to day affairs, but when it comes to conducting official business he hasn’t so much as uttered a single interrogative.

Well up until now that is.

As soon as the story broke Thomas decided it was high time he asked his first question since 2006.

The reason why is truly heart breaking.

When pressed on the issue Thomas had said he didn’t need to ask questions because anything he wanted to inquire about was eventually addressed in the proceedings of  a hearing. Part of the reason this was true was because of the inquisitive nature of Anton Scalia.

Scalia and Thomas were very similarly minded when it came to ideology and it was often Scalia’s poking and prodding which satisfied any curiosities Thomas might have had.

In Scalia’s absence Thomas is now left to ask the questions himself.

As CNN contributor Stephen I. Vladeck, “No one was more ideologically aligned with Justice Scalia than Justice Thomas, who has historically been reluctant to ask questions at oral argument because he believes his colleagues already do more than enough talking…that he’s now asking questions–for the first time in over a decade–is as powerful evidence of the impact of Justice Scalia’s absence as anything we’ve seen from the Justices thus far.”

While people might think it unusual for Thomas to take a 10-year hiatus on question asking from the bench, he maintains it’s nothing odd.

He’s often said part of the reason he’s not so quick to rake people over the proverbial coals is because he and his other justices are offered a much longer time to try cases than a typical case would allow.

“We have a lifetime to go back in chambers and to argue with each other,” Thomas said in 2013 according to the Associated Press. He noted that the lawyers only have about 30 minutes to present their side of the case. “They should argue. That’s a part of the process.” Thomas said and added that he doesn’t like to “badger people.

Regardless of the reasons the news is having a field day with this turn of events.