When members of the U.S. Supreme Court gathered for oral arguments on Monday morning, April 15, one of the justices was missing: Clarence Thomas, whose absence was reported by NBC News as well as the Associated Press.

According to NBC News reporters Lawrence Hurley, the 75-year-old justice “gave no reason for his absence.”

Hurley reports, “Chief Justice John Roberts said in court that Thomas ‘is not on the bench today’ but would ‘participate fully’ in the two cases being argued based on the briefs and transcripts. A court spokeswoman had no further information.”

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Hurley notes that when a Supreme Court justice is “not present for oral arguments,” the Court will typically “give a reason, including instances when there is a health issue.”

“When Thomas himself was hospitalized in 2022,” according to Hurley, “the Court disclosed that he had an infection and was being treated with antibiotics.”

The far-right Thomas was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 after Justice Thurgood Marshall retired.

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