Justice Clarence Thomas, who had been hospitalized for the past week, was discharged Friday morning, the Supreme Court said.
After experiencing flulike symptoms, Justice Thomas, the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court, was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington last Friday, the court said on Sunday. A statement on Friday offered no additional details.
According to the court’s Sunday statement, Justice Thomas underwent tests and was told he had an infection, which was treated with intravenous antibiotics. It was not clear what type of infection he had.
Patricia McCabe, a spokeswoman for the court, did not immediately respond to an inquiry on Friday for more information about Justice Thomas’s condition, but she said on Sunday that his illness was not Covid-19 or related to the coronavirus. All nine Supreme Court justices have been vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. At least two justices, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett M. Kavanaugh, have previously contracted the virus. Justices are regularly tested for the virus, in accordance with court protocol.
The court said on Sunday that Justice Thomas would “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.”
Justice Thomas, 73, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush and was seated on Oct. 23, 1991, making him the court’s most senior conservative member. He is its second-oldest member, after Justice Stephen G. Breyer, 83, who in January announced his retirement.
In his resignation letter, Justice Breyer said he intended to retire after the court completed its current term this summer, “assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed.”
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, President Biden’s nominee to replace Justice Breyer, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She was nominated to that position last year by Mr. Biden.
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee began its hearings on her nomination. If confirmed, she would be the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice.
As the confirmation hearings were held, it was revealed that in the weeks between the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Thomas, sent text messages imploring President Donald J. Trump’s chief of staff to take steps to overturn the vote, according to a person with knowledge of the texts.
The messages between Ms. Thomas and the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, represented the first evidence that she directly advised the White House in efforts to reverse the election results.
In one message sent shortly after Election Day, Ms. Thomas urged Mr. Meadows to “release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,” using a phrase popular among believers in conspiracy theories that could be used to overturn the election.