Chief Justice Roberts Leaves Hospital

Chief Justice John Roberts was released Tuesday from a hospital in Maine, a day after he was taken there after suffering a seizure.

Roberts walked out of the Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, waving to onlookers before getting into a waiting vehicle for a short trip to a dock, where he then took a pontoon boat to his summer home on Hupper Island, near Port Clyde.

Roberts had no response when a reporter hollered, "How are you feeling?"

The chief justice, 52, plans to continue his summer vacation, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. She said that doctors found no cause for concern after evaluating Roberts.

Roberts was taken to a hospital after he fell due to the seizure. He underwent a thorough neurological exam, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said.

Doctors determined that he had suffered a "benign idiopathic seizure," meaning they found no tumor, stroke or other explanation.

The incident, which left Roberts with some scrapes and bruises, occurred around 2 p.m. on a dock near Roberts' summer home in Port Clyde, which is part of the town of St. George, about 90 miles by car northeast of Portland, midway up the coast of Maine.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Roberts "sounded like he was in great spirits."

"The chief justice assured him (President Bush) that he was doing fine," Snow said. "The president was reassured."

Roberts had a similar episode in 1993.

Dr. Marc Schlosberg, a neurologist at Washington Hospital Center, said idiopathic seizures are not uncommon.

"Probably about 20 percent of us will have a seizure at some time," he said. "A recurrent seizure is a little bit more unusual and less common. In fact, if someone has more than one seizure, that is classified as epilepsy."

Named to the court by President Bush in 2005, Roberts is the youngest justice on a court in which the senior member, John Paul Stevens, is 87. Mr. Bush was informed of the hospitalization by his chief of staff, Josh Bolten, the White House said.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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