News and Commentary

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts Recently Hospitalized After Head Injury From Fall
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 30: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts listens to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on January 30, 2018.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts fell late last month at a country club in Maryland and had to be transported to a hospital by ambulance, where he had to stay overnight.

“The 65-year-old chief justice was taken by ambulance to a hospital after the June 21 incident at the Chevy Chase Club, which was serious enough to require sutures,” The Washington Post reported. “He stayed at the hospital overnight for observation and was released the next morning.”

A person who tipped off The Post about Roberts’ fall said that Roberts’ head was covered in blood.

In a statement, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg told The Post:

The Chief Justice was treated at a hospital on June 21 for an injury to his forehead sustained in a fall while walking for exercise near his home. The injury required sutures, and out of an abundance of caution, he stayed in the hospital overnight and was discharged the next morning. His doctors ruled out a seizure. They believe the fall was likely due to light-headedness caused by dehydration.

As noted by The Post, the statement did not elaborate on why Robert’s hospitalization was not disclosed.

Roberts reportedly has a history of seizures, including one in 2007 that required hospitalization and one in 1993 that resulted in Roberts not being allowed to drive for several months.

“Roberts has not released detailed information about his health or whether he takes medication because of those incidents,” The Post added. “The nine members of the court generally decide for themselves how much information to release about their health.”

Left-wing journalists immediately pounced on the news by suggesting that President Donald Trump would use to delegitimize some of Roberts’ recent court decisions.

In an op-ed published at The Washington Post, Committee for Justice President and constitutional law attorney Curt Levey wrote:

At least for the moment, the conservative dream of a solid majority on the Supreme Court is dead. The trio of recent votes by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. siding with the court’s four liberal justices shows that Roberts has gone full Kennedy — that is, following in the disappointingly centrist footsteps of previous swing justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Roberts’s votes — striking down an abortion law, overturning the Trump administration’s effort to end the DACA program for young immigrants, and expanding the federal ban on employment discrimination to cover gay and transgender workers — mark the death knell for conservative hopes that Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s replacement of Kennedy would finally produce a reliably conservative court. Short of adding a sixth GOP appointee to the court, the best conservatives can hope for is that Roberts’s drift stops short of the example set by Justice David Souter, who was trumpeted by advisers to President George H.W. Bush as a “home run” for conservatives but who turned out to be a liberal in disguise.

This is a developing news story, refresh the page for updates.

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