Justice Clarence Thomas was absent Monday from the first official day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s new term. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered a short statement saying Justice Thomas, 71, was absent due to an illness, according to Reuters.
The Chief Justice did not elaborate or say when Thomas is expected to return. Thomas is expected to still participate in deciding the three cases being argued before the Court today.
Justice Clarence Thomas, according to an analysis by political scientists, is the most-conservative of the nine justices currently on the bench. The Court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, comes in at a close second.
On Tuesday the Court will hear arguments in three landmark cases that could decide the future of the LGBTQ community’s rights to work, and just how much discrimination can legally be used against them.