Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday became the first member of the Supreme Court to break the newly implemented guidance to refrain from asking attorneys questions before they have had two minutes to make their argument, Bloomberg Law reports.
While hearing a case on immigration preemption, Sotomayor interrupted McDermott Will & Emery attorney Paul Hughes to ask a question about something he had just said during the opening portion of his argument. Hughes’ argument concerned whether states are allowed to prosecute immigrants by using information that was obtained from employee verification forms.
Sotomayor, typically one of the court’s most active members during oral arguments, then asked, “even if they were applying to a college?”
Chief Justice John Roberts quickly reminded Sotomayor of the new rule.
‘I’m sorry,” he said, before beginning to tell the attorney he could answer the question after his time had run out. Sotomayor then apologized for interrupting.
Later that day, Sotomayor almost broke the rule a second time during a different case, but stopped herself quickly.
Fox News notes, for inspiration, Sotomayor should look to Justice Clarence Thomas, who went 10 years without asking a question during oral arguments until finally posing one in 2016.