Justice Clarence Thomas is back. After a recent hospitalization, the conservative jurist is back at the Supreme Court to hear oral arguments – which is good news for Americans concerned about his long-term health and ability.
As SCOTUSBlog reported this morning, “Clarence Thomas is back on the bench this morning after being hospitalized last month and missing some oral arguments. As has become customary this term, Thomas asks the first question today. The court still has given little information about why Thomas was in the hospital.”
Thomas was hospitalized with an infection last month after experiencing flu-like symptoms. Supreme Court spokesperson Patricia McCabe said at the time that Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.
He was diagnosed with an infection after undergoing tests and was being treated with intravenous antibiotics.
“His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two. Justice Thomas will participate in the consideration and discussion of any cases for which he is not present on the basis of the briefs, transcripts and audio of the oral arguments,” McCabe announced in a statement then.
The biggest case the Supreme Court is expected to hand down soon, which it has already heard, is the Dobbs case involving a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi that could either give states more latitude to protect babies from abortions or will overturn Roe entirely, allowing wholesale abortions bans protecting hundreds of thousands of babies annually.
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During the high court’s consideration of Dobbs, Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart told the justices on the nation’s highest court that it’s time to overturn Roe v. Wade so states that provide legal protections for unborn children.
“Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood versus Casey haunt our country,” Stewart told the Supreme Court as it opened hearings on the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“They have no basis in the Constitution. They have no home in our history or traditions. They’ve damaged the democratic process. They’ve poisoned the law. They’ve choked off compromise. For fifty years they’ve kept this Court at the center of a political battle that it can never resolve. And fifty years on, they stand alone: nowhere else does this Court recognize a right to end a human life,” he said.
For decades, under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, states have been prohibited from banning abortions before viability. As a result, about 63 million unborn babies and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mothers have died in supposedly “safe,” legal abortions. Now the Supreme Court has agreed to re-consider this precedent and decide “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.”
Thomas is expected to vote to overturn Roe, as he has previously said the decision is afoul of the Constitution.