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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Justice Thomas joins debate remotely after hospital stay

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Justice Clarence Thomas participated in a debate in the Supreme Court instead of in person by telephone on Monday after a nearly week-long hospital stay.

Chief Justice John Roberts said at the start of the debate that Thomas, 73, would “run away this morning” but did not elaborate.

Thomas asked several questions at the beginning of the debate in the case, including a federal law that applies to railroad workers, at one point drawing an analogy when he drives his motor coach. Other judges have also occasionally participated in the debate remotely since the court began its term in the fall.

Thomas missed arguments in the High Court on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week while he was admitted to the hospital. Roberts said he would participate in the cases debated that day, using transcripts of the brief and arguments filed by the parties.

Thomas was hospitalized on March 18 after experiencing “flu-like symptoms” and was treated for the infection with intravenous antibiotics. Thomas did not have COVID-19, the court said. He has been vaccinated and given a booster shot like the rest of the court. Though the court had said that Thomas was expected to be discharged from the hospital on Monday or Tuesday, he was not discharged till Friday.

The court did not say why he remained in the hospital longer than initially thought or what kind of infection he was treated for.

Thomas, a conservative and former President George HW Bush appointee, has been on the court since 1991.

Earlier this term, Justice Brett Kavanaugh ran away from his home after testing positive for COVID-19, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor ran remotely from his office when the number of coronavirus cases was particularly high. Justice Neil Gorsuch also ran away, who the court described as a “stomach bug” but tested negative for COVID-19.

Because of the pandemic, the court spent more than a year and a half hearing arguments far and wide, with each justice attending by phone. While the judges and lawyers arguing the cases are back in the courtroom, it is still closed to the public.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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