November 25, 2020

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Chief Justice John Roberts was briefly hospitalized last month for head injury after fall


United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts poses for the court’s official portrait in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court building November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla

Chief Justice John Roberts was briefly hospitalized last month after he fell and suffered an injury to his forehead while walking near his home, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

Roberts, 65, was treated at a hospital June 21 and spent the night there after he fell while walking for exercise, the spokeswoman, Kathy Arberg, said in a statement.

“The injury required sutures, and out of an abundance of caution, he stayed in the hospital overnight and was discharged the next morning,” Arberg said. “His doctors ruled out a seizure. They believe the fall was likely due to light-headedness caused by dehydration.”

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The Washington Post, which first reported the fall and the injury, reported that the court’s confirmation came in response to its inquiry after The Post received a tip. The Post reported that the fall occurred at the Chevy Chase Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland, which is northwest of Washington.

Roberts suffered a seizure in 2007, and he had a similar episode in 1993, The Associated Press reported at the time of the 2007 incident.

In that incident, Roberts suffered what Arberg called “a benign idiopathic seizure,” the AP reported at the time. She said then that Roberts underwent a “thorough neurological evaluation, which revealed no cause for concern.”

Roberts was nominated to be chief justice by President George W. Bush in 2005.

Roberts late last month joined with the court’s four more liberal justices to strike down Louisiana’s tough restriction on abortions in a 5-4 ruling.

The Supreme Court, seen as increasingly conservative, in June also ruled that existing federal law forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status. That ruling was 6-3, with Roberts joining the majority.



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