I almost start a mini press riot today at the Supreme Court, so certain am I that Justice Clarence Thomas is about to ask a question for the first time in nearly four years. In a case about indefinite detention for sex offenders, he summons someone to bring forth a law book; he puts on his glasses and reads carefully from the book, then leans forward toward the microphone. To his left, Justice Stephen Breyer looks at him expectantly. I nudge my colleagues on either side and hiss, “He’s gonna do it, he’s gonna do it.” We all start craning and gaping. And then Thomas, who hasn’t asked a question at oral argument since Feb. 22, 2006, takes off his glasses, tips his head back up against his headrest, and closes his eyes.