Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been released from the hospital after a week-long stay related to an infection, the high court says.
Thomas, 73, is the court’s longest-serving member and was hospitalized in the midst of the hotly politicized confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
On Sunday, the court revealed that Thomas had been admitted last Friday evening while experiencing “flu-like symptoms,” Politico reported.
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court did specify that the complications were not related to COVID-19, but while it was originally speculated he’d be released “in a day or two,” his stay lasted a week.
Friday’s brief statement did not specify further the justice’s condition.
Thomas, who was appointed to the court by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, is one of the most stalwart conservative justices and his hospitalization was reminiscent of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ailing health while President Donald Trump was still in office as it raised concerns he too could retire or pass away, opening up an opportunity for President Biden to nominate a second liberal justice to the court.
Trump was given the unique opportunity to appoint three justices to the high court — Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett (who replaced Ginsburg once she passed away in 2020).
This effectively created a conservative-majority court, much to the chagrin of political leftists who have often looked to the court to determine heatedly contested social issues such as abortion and gay marriage.
Thomas’ release also comes as his wife, Virginia Thomas, is facing scrutiny over text messages she sent to former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows following the 2020 election, reportedly urging him to continue to contest the results.
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