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Where Is Justice Clarence Thomas?


Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did not show up to hear any of the court’s scheduled cases today.

There was no explanation given as to why 75-year-old Justice Thomas was missing — something that is very strange for the Supreme Court.

Axios reports:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was not present for the court’s scheduled cases on Monday, and the court did not offer a reason for his absence.

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Why it matters: While it’s not unusual for justices to occasionally miss a day’s proceedings, the court often provides an explanation for why a justice is absent.

  • The Supreme Court did not immediately respond Monday to Axios’ request for comment regarding Thomas’ absence.

Driving the news: Chief Justice John Roberts announced Thomas’ absence Monday and said his colleague would participate in the day’s cases through transcripts and briefs, AP reported.

  • Thomas did not participate in the proceedings virtually either, as justices occasionally do when they are ill or for other reasons cannot make it to the court, per AP.

Reuters added:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was not on the bench on Monday as the other eight justices heard arguments, with no reason given for his absence.

Thomas, 75, is the oldest and longest-serving member of the court and is part of its 6-3 conservative majority. He was appointed to the top U.S. judicial body in 1991 by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

Chief Justice John Roberts noted the absence of Thomas at the beginning of the arguments in the first of two cases before the court on Monday, but did not offer an explanation. Roberts said Thomas would “participate fully” in the cases by using the written legal briefs and the transcripts of the arguments.

A court spokeswoman did not provide additional information.

The court often gives a reason for a justice’s absence, including illness.

This has led to a lot of speculation on social media about why Thomas was missing today and where he could possibly be.

Some users wonder if he could be sick, or dead.

Take a look at these responses:

Rumors are spreading that Justice Thomas may have suffered from a transient ischemic attack — or “mini stroke” — over the weekend.

Why do you think Clarence Thomas was missing from the Supreme Court hearings today?

Whatever the reason is, please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.