Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is not only the longest-serving jurist on the nation’s highest court but also is arguably its most conservative member, and millions upon millions of Americans rely upon him to steadfastly defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution from government violations.
Unfortunately, Justice Thomas is currently sidelined and hospitalized with “flu-like” symptoms and will likely be out of action for at least a few days, NBC News reported.
This concerning news comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding hearings on President Joe Biden’s nomination of liberal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer.
Thomas “expects to be released” in coming days
According to a Supreme Court press release Sunday, “Justice Clarence Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Friday evening after experiencing flu-like symptoms.”
“He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection, and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics,” the release continued. “His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two.”
The high court added, “Justice Thomas will 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.”
Though unspecified in that release, NBC pointed out that the Supreme Court did later clarify that Thomas’ infection was not COVID-19, for which he, like all other members of the court, has been fully vaccinated and boosted against.
If not COVID-19, then what?
The Associated Press reported Monday that Chief Justice John Roberts made note of Justice Thomas’ absence at the start of oral arguments that day but did not provide any further explanation of why he was absent or when he might be expected to return to the high bench.
Given the fact that Thomas will still reportedly participate in the court’s business from his hospital bed, to say nothing of the current 6-3 Republican advantage on the court, it is unlikely that his absence — assuming it is only temporary — will upend or threaten the current ideological balance.
As for what, exactly, is ailing the senior jurist, if not the coronavirus, the AP was at a loss, as the Supreme Court did not specify and Thomas has no previously known medical conditions.
Nothing out of the ordinary here
The AP also sought to quell conspiratorial musings by pointing out that there is nothing unusual about the Supreme Court not immediately notifying the public of Thomas’ hospitalization, nor would it be the first time that a justice has missed hearing oral arguments in person but still voted on a case by way of written briefs and argument transcripts.
Hopefully, Justice Thomas will swiftly recover from whatever illness he is suffering from and return to the bench healthy and rested and ready to continue defending America’s Constitution from those who would usurp and undermine it.