Where’s The Justice?

Justice Clarence Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session – No Reason Given

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Justice Thomas was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to succeed Justice Thurgood Marshall and has served since 1991. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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.

One of the cases before the court on Monday concerned a challenge to the scope of a federal anti-bribery law involving James Snyder, the former mayor of Portage, Indiana, who is appealing his conviction.

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