Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

July 31, 2007

Chief Justice Roberts Suffers Seizure

The WaPo:

ROCKPORT, Maine, July 30 -- Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was rushed to a hospital here Monday afternoon after suffering a seizure at his summer island home, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said.

Roberts, 52, fell on a dock after having a "benign idiopathic seizure," said Kathleen Landin Arberg, the court's public information officer. She said that Roberts has "fully recovered from the incident" but that he would remain at Penobscot Bay Medical Center here overnight for observation.
"Idiopathic" means the cause is unknown.

The Post also reports that this was the second such incident with Roberts. The first seizure, which happened in 1993, was disclosed to the Senate Committee during his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, but wasn't deemed relevant.

We get this additional tidbit from Forbes:

Medical opinions differed on just what Roberts' seizures mean.

Someone who has had more than one seizure without any other cause is determined to have epilepsy, said Dr. Marc Schlosberg, a neurologist at Washington Hospital Center, who is not involved in the Roberts' case.

Whether Roberts will need anti-seizure medications to prevent another is something he and his doctor will have to decide. But after two seizures, the likelihood of another at some point is greater than 60 percent. "When it's going to occur, obviously nobody knows," Schlosberg said.
There's not much information at this point, except that Roberts seems to be fine save for some minor scrapes. But the possibility that it's epilepsy complicates matters, because a bad episode can cause more serious physical injuries. He can take medication to control it but as the NYT notes:

Dr. Langer said it could be difficult for doctors to decide whether the chief justice, who, at 52 is the youngest member of the court,, should start taking medication, which Dr. Langer said "have significant side effects."
At any rate, it's ironic this happened just days after a WaPo-ABC poll showing the public isn't happy with the conservative turn SCOTUS has taken with the Roberts and Alito confirmation, as well as Chuck Schumer's statement that no more Bush appointees should be confirmed considering Roberts and Alito's misrepresentations regarding stare decisis.

Bush's goal was obviously to pack SCOTUS with activist conservative judges, the younger the better to ensure a long tenure, but this episode with Roberts reminds us one never knows if another confirmation fight is just around the corner, and that we liberals should always be ready to hold our ground.

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posted at 12:14 AM by Wonky Muse

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Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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