Mr. Jay said the hybrid questioning was a success. “It’s healthy,” he said, “that we’re spending an extra six minutes or so per advocate and getting quite a few extra questions, quite a few extra lines of questioning and more participation by a larger number of justices, including of course Justice Thomas, who has been the third most active user of extra time.”
Justice Neil M. Gorsuch was first, by a lot, and Chief Justice Roberts was second.
It is not clear whether the recent changes were driven in part by the concerns Justice Sotomayor noted, but she said that the justices had become more careful.
“My colleagues are much more sensitive than they were before,” she said. “You will see us, even now when we’re speaking, a judge will say, ‘Sorry, did I interrupt you?’”
But she added that the 2017 study had documented something real about the tendency of men to interrupt women.
“Did I notice it as a dynamic?” she asked. “Without question, before the study came out. But I don’t know of a woman who hasn’t. Regrettably, that is a dynamic that exists not just on the court but in our society in general. Most of the time, women say things, and they’re not heard in the same way as men who might say the identical thing.”
“It used to happen, I noticed, with great frequency to Justice Ginsburg,” Justice Sotomayor said.
In 2009, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last year, told Joan Biskupic, then of USA Today, that she sometimes felt ignored at the justices’ private conferences. “I will say something — and I don’t think I’m a confused speaker — and it isn’t until somebody else says it that everyone will focus on the point,” Justice Ginsburg said.
In 2018, not long after the study appeared, Justice Ginsburg, was asked about it. “Let’s see how it affects my colleagues,” she said. “I think it well may.”