Number of words spoken by Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court oral arguments since February 2006: 132
Number by Samuel Alito, the Justice who spoke the second-fewest words: 14,404
Thomas received an advance of $1.5 million for his new book, and Dahlia Lithwick reports that it is,
the largest advance ever paid a sitting Supreme Court justice and that the agreement with this most conservative justice on the court coincidentally came from News Corp., the leviathan media empire owned by the conservative Rupert Murdoch.
This raises the obvious question of whether all taciturn people could be prompted to open up with a million dollar advance or, anticipating that his words would be so valuable, Thomas was merely reluctant to offer them up for the paltry government salary of only $203,000 a year, holding out for a better offer for his opinions. (Of course, Clarence has done pretty well in his government job. If his publisher had paid as much per word as his government employer, his advance would have been more than $200 million.)