Chief Justice John Roberts Briefly Hospitalized for Head Injury After Fall

Chief Justice John Roberts was briefly hospitalized on June 21 after falling while walking near his home, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court announced Tuesday. The fall was first reported by The Washington Post; Kathy Arberg, public information officer for the Supreme Court, confirmed the news to the publication.

"The Chief Justice was treated at a local hospital on June 21 for an injury to his forehead sustained in a fall while walking for exercise near his home," Arberg said. "The injury required sutures, and out of an abundance of caution, he stayed in the hospital overnight and was discharged the next morning. His doctors ruled out a seizure. They believe the fall was likely due to light-headedness caused by dehydration."

When asked why the public had not been informed of the incident earlier, Arberg told CNN, "The injury was not significant; he stayed overnight out of an abundance of caution and went home first thing in the morning." Roberts, 65, has reportedly had two previous seizures, one of which occurred in 1993 and the other in 2007.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee learned of Roberts' 1993 seizure when considering his nomination for chief justice in 2005, but said it was not significant enough to bring up during official confirmation hearings. Then-Sen. Arlen Specter, who chaired the panel at the time, told CNN after Roberts' 2007 seizure, "We knew but we didn't draw a heavy breath on it." Doctors at the time ruled the incident a "benign idiopathic seizure," which is one with no identifiable physiological cause. Federal judges, who have lifetime tenure, are not required to disclose information about their health or medical conditions.


Roberts' fall came three years after he sided with the bench's more liberal judges to block President Donald Trump's attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on June 18 and just six days after he also sided with his liberal peers to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ workers, despite the Trump administration's attempt to strike down those protections.

"An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids," Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, wrote in the opinion. "There is simply no escaping the role intent plays here: Just as sex is necessarily a but-for cause when an employer discriminates against homosexual or transgender employees, an employer who discriminates on these grounds inescapably intends to rely on sex in its decisionmaking."