Justice Thomas Misses Arguments

U.S. Supreme Court convened for arguments in two important cases, but one justice was noticeably absent.

Justice Clarence Thomas, the oldest and longest-serving member of the court, was absent without an explanation. This is highly unusual, as the court typically provides a reason for a justice’s absence, especially in cases like this.

Justice Thomas, a stalwart conservative and part of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. He is known for his strict adherence to the Constitution and dedication to protecting all Americans’ rights and freedoms. His absence on the bench is concerning and has raised questions among conservative circles.

Chief Justice John Roberts noted Thomas’s absence at the beginning of the arguments but did not offer any explanation. Roberts assured that Justice Thomas would still participate in the cases by utilizing the written legal briefs and transcripts of the arguments. While this is true, having the justice physically present in the courtroom is crucial in order to understand and consider the arguments being presented fully.

This is not the first time Justice Thomas has missed arguments, as he was hospitalized in March 2022 due to flu-like symptoms and an infection. However, the court provided a reason for his absence at that time, and the public was kept informed. The fact that no reason is given for his current absence is troubling and raises questions about his health and well-being.

The cases being heard concern important issues, such as the scope of federal anti-bribery law and the rights of individuals like James Snyder, the former mayor of Portage, Indiana, who is appealing his conviction. Justice Thomas’s absence from these cases could significantly impact the outcome, as his conservative views often align with those of his fellow justices on the right. Furthermore, not having his voice and perspective in the courtroom deprives the court and the American people of the valuable insights he brings to the table.

Justice Thomas was soon back on the bench, however, as of yet, no explanation for his absence was provided.