Court Battles

Supreme Court silent on Thomas health status 

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, pool, file

The Supreme Court on Thursday did not respond to inquiries about the health status of Justice Clarence Thomas and whether he remained hospitalized after being admitted late last week. 

The court on Sunday said Thomas, 73, was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Friday evening after experiencing “flu-like symptoms” and was diagnosed with an infection. The court’s statement Sunday added that Thomas was being treated with intravenous antibiotics and that “his symptoms are abating” and “he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two.”

Since then, the court has provided no additional details to The Hill other than to confirm reports Monday that Thomas did not have COVID-19.

Thomas’s close friend Armstrong Williams on Thursday told The Hill that Thomas is “resting and he’s going to be just fine” but declined to elaborate further on the justice’s health. Pressed on whether Thomas was still in the hospital, Williams declined to answer.

“It doesn’t matter. He’s resting and doing well,” he said, adding: “I don’t think the public cares about where he’s resting — it’s that he’s resting and he’s doing fine. I think the media cares about where he’s resting. The public doesn’t.”

Thomas was absent from oral arguments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing prior to Wednesday’s argument that “Justice Thomas is unable to be present today” but providing no additional information.

The court on Sunday said Thomas plans to participate in consideration of the cases he missed by reviewing written briefs, as well as transcripts and audio of the oral arguments, as is customary for justices who are absent from hearings due to illness. 

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