Clarence Thomas Health Update: Stephen Breyer Speaks Out Amid Speculation

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has said his colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas, is not in any danger after being hospitalized for an infection last week.

TMZ reported Thursday that Breyer said the 73-year-old Supreme Court Justice was fine, barely a week after he was hospitalized on March 18, after he experienced flu-like symptoms.

In a statement on March 20, the court said Thomas has been at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.

"He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection, and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics," the court said in the statement. "His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two."

The Supreme Court's statement didn't explain why it waited two days to disclose that Thomas was in the hospital.

The court's public information officer, Patricia McCabe, said Thomas's illness isn't related to COVID-19, according to The Washington Post. He is vaccinated and has received a booster shot.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court declined to say whether Thomas remains in hospital, though he had been expected to be released by Tuesday evening.

Thomas, a conservative appointed by former Republican President George H.W. Bush, has been on the Supreme Court since 1991—and is now its longest-serving member. He is the second African-American to serve on the court after Thurgood Marshall, who he succeeded.

As the Supreme Court has become more conservative, Thomas's right-wing views have become more influential.

Thomas has missed four days of oral arguments, as the Senate Judiciary Committee this week is holding confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. U.S. President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to replace Breyer, who intends to retire at the end of the court's current term. At 83 years old, Breyer is the oldest justice in the court.

The court heard arguments in five cases this week, the Washington Post reported, and is scheduled to consider four more next week.

Chief Justice John Roberts said in open court on Wednesday that Thomas would read briefs and transcripts of oral arguments.

There has been much speculation around Thomas's health.

A tweet that went viral on Wednesday said that he was "very ill" and using a ventilator in hospital. The tweet has now been deleted and there is no evidence to support its claim.

However, the tweet prompted a huge amount of Google search interest around Thomas' health.

Newsweek has contacted the court for an update on the Justice's current health condition.

Clarence Thomas
Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Justice Stephen Breyer has said Thomas is not in any danger after being hospitalized for an infection last week. Drew Angerer/Getty