Loughner, 22, said little in the courtroom and only answered procedural questions, David Nakamura of the Washington Post wrote on Twitter. Public defender Judy Clarke, who previously represented the "Unabomber," patted him on the back.
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Loughner walked into the courtroom looking straight ahead, Reuters reported. He made no statement, but answered questions in what Reuters said was a strong voice as he leaned into the microphone to affirm he understood the charges against him.
Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson adjourned the hearing after 17 minutes, Nakamura wrote on Twitter. "Good luck to you, Mr. Loughner," the judge said, according to the reporter. Anderson said all Southern Arizona circuit judges have recused themselves, according to CNN. A preliminary hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time on Jan. 24. Anderson said "there is great concern proceeding any further than today with Arizona judges," according to reports.
A review of the Loughner's writings, interviews with his friends and information from law enforcement have painted a partial portrait of Loughner as a disturbed individual who became increasingly obsessed with Giffords. The federal government formally charged him on Sunday for the murder of two federal employees, the attempted murder of two federal employees and the attempted assassination of a member of Congress.