Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was out of action last week as he was hospitalized to receive rest and treatment for an unspecified infection.
The high court’s longest-serving jurist was back to work on Monday, though, albeit remotely, to participate in oral arguments with his fellow justices on the bench, the Washington Examiner reported.
It would appear that while Thomas’ health had improved sufficiently for him to be released from the hospital and take part in the arguments, he isn’t quite ready to return to work in person just yet.
Out for a week with an unspecified infection
It was on Sunday, March 20, that the Supreme Court issued a press release announcing that Justice Thomas had been hospitalized days earlier on Friday “after experiencing flu-like symptoms.”
“He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection, and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics. His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two,” the release continued, though it ended up being more than a “day or two” before Thomas was actually released.
“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 court added at that time.
Back to work in limited fashion
SCOTUSblog reported that the Supreme Court announced with little fanfare on Friday that Justice Thomas had finally been released from the hospital and allowed to continue his recovery from home, though no further details were given about the status of his health or when he might return to work in-person.
According to the Examiner, Thomas’ hospitalization last week caused him to be absent from the oral arguments in three separate cases before the Supreme Court, though, as noted by the press release, he would still participate in the final ruling by way of the submitted briefs and transcripts and audio of the arguments he had missed.
On Monday, while working remotely from home, Thomas did participate fully in the oral arguments portion of two separate cases — LeDure v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. and Southwest Airlines Co. v. Saxon.
Democrats launch attack while Thomas hospitalized
Meanwhile, The Hill reported that Justice Thomas and his wife, conservative activist Virginia Thomas, were under sharp scrutiny from Democrats and the media after some of her text messages related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot incident were published last week while Thomas was hospitalized — likely leaked from the Democrat-dominated House committee investigating that incident.
Those text messages were between Thomas and then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and displayed Thomas’ support for the efforts by then-President Donald Trump to challenge and potentially overturn the allegedly fraudulent 2020 election results.
The purported scandal here has prompted Democrats and media allies to threaten to impeach Justice Thomas if he doesn’t resign or at least recuse himself from any and all future cases related to the 2020 election or the Jan. 6 incident.