Court Battles

Justice Thomas misses oral arguments due to illness

Justice Clarence Thomas was absent from Supreme Court oral arguments on Monday due to illness.

Chief Justice John Roberts announced Thomas’s absence from a pair of in-person hearings prior to the start of arguments.

“Justice Thomas is unable to be present today but will participate in consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts of oral argument,” Roberts said. 

Thomas, 73, was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Friday evening with flu-like symptoms and diagnosed with an infection, a Supreme Court spokesperson said in a statement Sunday, adding that he was being treated with intravenous antibiotics.

“His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two,” the spokesperson’s statement on Sunday read. 

The court’s public information office did not immediately respond to a request Monday for an update on Thomas’s health, the timing of his return or whether he remained in the hospital. 

It is customary for justices who miss arguments due to illness to participate in consideration of the cases by reviewing written briefs, as well as transcripts and audio of oral arguments.

Tags Clarence Thomas Oral arguments SCOTUS Supreme Court

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