Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Released From Hospital
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Clarence Thomas has now served on the Supreme Court for 30 years. He was nominated by former President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and is the second African-American to serve on the high court, following Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was released from the hospital on Friday following a stay for several days after he experienced flu-like symptoms.

“Clarence Thomas was discharged from the hospital today, the Supreme Court said,” SCOTUS Blog reported. “The court gave no further information.”

The Supreme Court announced in a press release on Sunday that Thomas had been hospitalized.

“Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Friday evening after experiencing flu-like symptoms,” the court said. “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. 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.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) mentioned Thomas this week in his opening statement during the confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Cruz stated in-part:

Supreme Court confirmations were not always controversial. In fact, Bushrod Washington, when nominated to the Supreme Court in 1798, was confirmed the very next day. So what changed? Well, what changed is starting in the 1960’s and the 1970’s, the Supreme Court’s role in our society changed dramatically. The Supreme Court became a policymaking body rather than a merely judicial body. Just a moment ago, my colleague Sen. Klobuchar said we should consider the Supreme Court’s place in our democracy. Starting in the 60’s and 70’s, the Supreme Court decided its place in our democracy, at least to many justices, was to set aside the democratic decisions of the people and instead to mandate the policy outcomes they themselves supported.”

Our Democratic colleagues want the Supreme Court to be anti-democratic. Our Democratic colleagues get frustrated with the democratic process when they can’t pass gun control laws, because the American people don’t support them. They want unelected judges to mandate those same laws instead. Law after law after law that they can’t get through the democratic process, the Democrats have decided it’s much simpler to convince five lawyers in black robes than to try to convince 330 million Americans.

That is why Supreme Court confirmation hearings have become so contentious. It’s because the Supreme Court is arrogated to itself a responsibility the Constitution doesn’t give it, which is to make contested policy decisions and take them away from the American people. 

Now, what should this hearing be and what should it not be? Well, you’ve heard a number of members on the Republican side of the aisle [be] quite clear on what it should not be. This will not be a political circus. This will not be the kind of character smear that sadly, our Democratic colleagues have gotten very good at. And it’s important to note, you know, a couple of years ago, I was doing my weekly podcast, and I was on with a noted liberal intellectual who made a comment something to the effect of well, both sides do this, both sides smear Supreme Court justices. And I was forced to laugh out loud and say, look, I understand that’s a pretty good talking point, it just happens not to be true. It is only one side of the aisle—the Democratic aisle—that went so into the gutter with Judge Robert Bork that they invented a new verb, ‘to Bork’ someone. It is only one side of the aisle that with Justice Clarence Thomas, was so reprehensible that as the president who nominated him, President George Herbert Walker Bush, wrote at the time quote, ‘What’s happening to Clarence Thomas is just plain horrible. All the groups that tried to beat him up on abortion, affirmative action have now come out of the woodwork. They’re trying to destroy a decent man…This is an ugly process, and one can see clearly why so many good people elect to stay out of public life.’

As Justice Thomas observed in that hearing, what happened there was to use his words, ‘a high tech lynching.’ And I would note, the chairman who presided over that disgrace was Joe Biden. 

This report has been updated to include additional information.

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