Why Justice Thomas Ditched Biden’s SOTU Speech

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(TheRedWire.com) – On Tuesday, President Biden delivered his second State of the Union address. United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was notably present at the event, which had been an expected move on his part.

Thomas is currently the longest-serving and most conservative member of the Supreme Court, despite this, over the past 20 years he has rarely attended the State of the Union address. He attended one of President Obama’s addresses in February 2019, when the President focused on the financial crisis and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Before that, he had reportedly attended George W. Bush’s address in 2006, but not his speeches in 2007 and 2008. Similarly, he had attended the State of the Union addresses from 1992 to 1999 but not the one in 1996.

Since 2009 he has not attended any joint address by the President. He has noted that the reason he does not attend them is that if he does it is “so partisan.” He added that as a judge it is a very uncomfortable experience to just sit there.

He also noted that when he watches TV he can avoid a lot of the uncomfortable moments such as the “catcalls, the whooping and hollering, and under-the-breath comments.”

Thomas was not the only member of the Supreme Court not in attendance. Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch also chose not to attend the address. The rest of the Supreme Court was present, along with two retired Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy.


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