Clarence Thomas Forced to Miss Today’s Oral Arguments Due to Illness

Justice Clarence Thomas was forced to miss Supreme Court oral arguments today due to flu-like symptoms that developed Friday. He was later diagnosed with an infection.

“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,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

A spokesperson for Thomas said in a statement that his “symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two.”

The statement said that Thomas would “participate in the consideration and discussion of any cases for which he is not present on the basis of the briefs, transcripts and audio of the oral arguments.”

Thomas, 73, was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, part of the Johns Hopkins Health System, on Friday. He has been receiving intravenous antibiotics. Many initially speculated that he has COVID-19, since the health of Supreme Court justices is closely watched. Every justice on the court is fully vaccinated against the virus.

Thomas has served on the court for more than 30 years.

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