Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was absent Monday from the Supreme Court’s kickoff session, apparently out sick as oral arguments for the new term began.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who said in his opening comments that Thomas, 71, was “indisposed” due to an illness, added that said the conservative judge would still be participating in deciding the three cases the court is hearing.
The reconvened high court heard its first arguments in a case focusing on whether states can discard the insanity defense in criminal prosecutions.
Thomas, appointed to the court in 1991 by former President George H.W. Bush, is its longest-serving justice.