Deference at Oral Argument
I’m reading Jeff Shesol’s new book on FDR’s Court-packing plan, and I learned something that I didn’t know. Through at least the 1930s, there was a tradition at the Court that when the Attorney General argued a case he would not be interrupted with questions from the bench. I wonder how this practice got started and when it ended. It’s amusing to think about that now — Eric Holder would get, what, 30 seconds of silence at most.