Justice Thomas spoke at Harvard Law School, and had these warm words to say about his most junior colleague:
Former HLS Dean Elena Kagan ’86, for example, “is just a delight,” he said. And soon after she joined the Court he told her: “It’s going to be a joy disagreeing with you for years to come.”
“You make each other better,” he said, through this sort of engagement.
Minow noted that this Court is known as especially collegial, and Thomas is often cited as having much to do with that. “Then why don’t they vote with me?” he said with a chuckle. “They just kindly disagree.
Update: Thomas also spoke highly of Justice Breyer who makes him laugh–but said nothing about Sotomayor:
Of Justice Elena Kagan, a former Harvard dean and the court’s newest member, Thomas said he told her, “It’s going to be a joy disagreeing with you for years to come.” He called Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “delightful” and said his seatmate for the past 19 years, Justice Stephen Breyer, draws stick figures during arguments and makes Thomas laugh.
The famously silent justice – he has said nothing at arguments for seven years, except for a brief joke last month that was seemingly about Ivy League lawyers – said Breyer occasionally asks questions that Thomas has first whispered to him on the bench.
He didn’t say a word about Sotomayor.