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Supreme Court Delivers Update on Justice Thomas After He Was Hospitalized

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The U.S. Supreme Court declined to provide an update on Wednesday about whether Justice Clarence Thomas remains in the hospital after he experienced a “flu-like infection.”

“The court said Sunday that the 73-year-old Thomas had been admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington on Friday after experiencing flu-like symptoms, and he was diagnosed with an infection. His symptoms are abating, and he was expected to be released Monday or Tuesday, the court said in a statement at the time. But on Wednesday morning, court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said she had no update to provide,” the Associated Press reported.

“The court heard arguments Wednesday morning and Chief Justice John Roberts said, as he has for the past two days, that while Thomas was not present he would participate in the case by reviewing the arguments’ transcript and briefs. Roberts said Thomas was unable to be present today without explanation. Thomas did not have COVID-19 and his infection was being treated with intravenous antibiotics, the court has said,” the report added.

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News broke late on Sunday night that Thomas had been hospitalized with a “flu-like infection.”

“Justice Clarence Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C., on Friday evening after experiencing flu-like symptoms,” the statement read, as reported by The Economist’s Steve Mazie.

“He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics,” the statement continued. “His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expected to be released from the hospital in a day or two.”

“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,” the statement added.

Earlier this month, Thomas issued a warning about the future of the nation’s highest court.

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During an address in Utah sponsored by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, Thomas warned about the leftist cultural onslaught and warned that future generations will pay the price if the Supreme Court is overcome.

“My fear isn’t for me. But it is for your kids and your grandkids and the next generation. What are we going to leave them? Are we leaving them a mess or are we leaving them a country? Are we leaving them chaos or are we going to leave them a court?” he said.

Thomas tore into liberals pushing the idea of rigging the court’s structure to produce specific political outcomes, arguing it’s damaging even if it never gets beyond the talking stage.

“You can cavalierly talk about packing or stacking the court. You can cavalierly talk about doing this or doing that. At some point, the institution is going to be compromised,” he said.

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A court that is structured to be a rubber stamp is “no court at all. That’s no rule of law at all. That’s just willfulness. I don’t see how that is conducive to having a free and civil society.”

“You can’t keep taking chips out of your institutions and not expect it to, at some point, be compromised. At some point, it can’t keep withstanding the efforts to undermine,” Thomas said.

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“Let’s be honest,” he said about the effort to pack the court to make it permanently lean to the left. “This is really about the results they want. They haven’t been able to make the institutions do what they want, to give them what they want.”

“By doing this, you continue to chip away at the respect of the institutions that the next generation is going to need if they’re going to have civil society,” Thomas said.

“I’m afraid, particularly in this world of cancel culture attack, I don’t know where you’re going to learn to engage as we did when I grew up. If you don’t learn at that level in high school, in grammar school, in your neighborhood, or in civic organizations, then how do you have it when you’re making decisions in government, in the legislature, or in the courts?” he said.

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