Joe Biden

Supreme Court Silent on Justice Clarence Thomas Hospitalization

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
  • The Supreme Court did not respond when asked for information about the health of 73-year-old Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • Thomas was hospitalized with an infection nearly a week earlier.
  • It was unclear whether Thomas was still recovering in Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he had been admitted on Friday after experiencing flulike symptoms.

The Supreme Court has remained silent on the condition of 73-year-old Justice Clarence Thomas since it announced his hospitalization earlier this week and said he was on the mend.

Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. Friday night, where he was being treated for an infection, the court said in a statement released Sunday.

The statement also said Thomas' "symptoms are abating" after antibiotics and he expected to "be released from the hospital in a day or two."

But the court hasn't provided an update since Sunday and didn't respond to multiple messages seeking comment Thursday.

The most recent update came from Thomas' colleague on the bench, Justice Stephen Breyer, who was questioned outside a restaurant in D.C. on Wednesday by TMZ.

"I think he's fine," Breyer said of Thomas.

Confirmed in 1991, Thomas is currently the longest-serving justice on the high court, and the second-oldest, behind 83-year-old Breyer, who is retiring.

Thomas did not participate in oral arguments before the court on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. At the start of each day's proceedings, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that Thomas "is unable to be present today but will participate in consideration and decision" of the cases based on court briefs and transcripts of the arguments.

News of Thomas' hospitalization came on the eve of Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden's pick to replace Breyer on the bench.

If confirmed, Jackson will become the first Black woman to serve on the top U.S. court, and her appointment will maintain the court's current 6-3 conservative majority.

Thomas, a conservative darling, was the second Black man to ever ascend to the Supreme Court. He succeeded Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, meanwhile, reportedly sent an email asking recipients to sign a card wishing Thomas a fast recovery. That email reportedly included a donate button and a separate link that led to a donation page.

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