The Slatest

A Supreme Court Sketch Artist Pretty Much Drew Clarence Thomas Sleeping

Birchfield v. North Dakota, No.14-1468, 14-1470, 14-1507
Attorney Charles Rothfeld appearing in front of the Supreme Court in the case of Birchfield v. North Dakota.

Art Lien/

Clarence Thomas is known for having a very calm disposition during oral arguments at the Supreme Court. He has a habit of reclining in his seat and closing his eyes and recently asked a question of an attorney for the first time in a decade. Veteran courtroom observers say that this doesn’t mean he’s disengaged, per se—he’s not actually sleeping, and between his moments of repose he looks at briefs, writes notes, etc. He’s paying attention.

And yet, in the drawing above by longtime SCOTUS artist Arthur Lien of an eventful Wednesday hearing, I will be damned if it does not really look like Clarence Thomas is deeply and profoundly asleep or possibly 100 percent dead.


If you go to Lien’s website, you can buy a print of the image for $50!