The Slatest

Chief Justice John Roberts Hospitalized Overnight After Fall Last Month

John Roberts in a black robe walking down a hallway.
Chief Justice John Roberts after the Senate impeachment vote in February. Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Chief Justice John Roberts fell last month and suffered a previously undisclosed head injury that required an overnight stay in the hospital, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court confirmed Tuesday. The 65-year-old’s fall was first reported by the Washington Post more than two weeks after it occurred at the Chevy Chase Club, nearby Roberts’ suburban Maryland home. The June 21 incident left the justice’s head bloodied according to those at the scene; he was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he stayed overnight for observation. Roberts has a history of seizures and has experienced two seizures, once in 1993 and again in 2007, shortly after his ascension to the Supreme Court.


“The Chief Justice was treated at a hospital on June 21 for an injury to his forehead sustained in a fall while walking for exercise near his home,”  Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen 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.”

The 1993 seizure occurred while golfing and resulted in Roberts not driving for several months as a precaution. The episode was disclosed as part of his confirmation process but was not raised by senators during the hearings as a serious issue. During Roberts’ July 2007 seizure, he fell from a dock and was hospitalized for a night. “Roberts has not released detailed information about his health or whether he takes medication because of those incidents,” the Washington Post reports. “The nine members of the court generally decide for themselves how much information to release about their health.”