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Justice Clarence Thomas Released from Hospital Following Bout with Infection

Clarence Thomas

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The Public Information Office for the Supreme Court of the United States announced Friday that Justice Clarence Thomas has been released from the hospital. The update comes one week to the day after the conservative justice was first admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital, though the court didn’t reveal the hospitalization until last Sunday.

Thomas, 73, was said to be experiencing “flu-like symptoms,” and was diagnosed with an infection, a court spokesperson announced over the weekend.

Justice Thomas’s bout with an infection happened to overlap with the publication of an exposé on his wife Ginni Thomas’s text messages in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election loss. SCOTUS confirmation hearings for U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson were also set to begin the Monday after the court first announced Thomas’s illness.

The high court said previously that Justice Thomas was treated with intravenous antibiotics and would continue to “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.”

Justice Thomas was noticeably absent for oral arguments this week, but his presence was still felt Thursday in the form of a lone dissent in the case of John Henry Ramirez, a death row inmate who wants a Baptist pastor to pray and lay hands on him at his execution.

On Thursday, reporting by the Washington Post and CBS showed Ginni Thomas embracing bizarre legal theories, including Sidney Powell’s “Kraken” litigation in the weeks after the 2020 election.

Thomas even texted then-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows a quote of something she appears to have encountered on the pro-Trump internet.

“Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition,” the text said.

That was sent on Nov. 5, 2020, at a time when both Trump and his most diehard supporters (see: QAnon) began to allege—and search for proof of—a treasonous “steal” facilitated by an influx of mail-in ballots.

Nov. 5 was also the day after Trump falsely declared victory and vowed to take his grievance to the Supreme Court.

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.