US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized with infection


JULY 14, 2020

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledges applause as she arrives to speak to Georgetown University law students in Washington, D.C., in 2017. – Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to a hospital Tuesday for treatment of a possible infection, marking the latest medical mishap for the four-time cancer survivor.

Ginsburg, 87, the court’s oldest justice, experienced fever and chills Monday night and was treated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in the nation’s capital. On Tuesday, she underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to clean out a bile duct stent that was inserted last August, the court announced.

The announcement said Ginsburg would remain at Johns Hopkins for a few days for intravenous antibiotic treatment but was “resting comfortably.”

Ginsburg’s health has been the subject of consternation among court-watchers for years, and more so as President Donald Trump’s first term draws to a close. If she was forced to leave the court during his administration, the Republican-controlled Senate could try to replace her quickly and solidify the court’s conservative majority, perhaps for decades to come.

Ginsburg has had several health scares dating back to 1999, including colorectal, pancreatic and lung cancer. Her lung cancer was diagnosed in December 2018, and she had a second bout of pancreatic cancer last August.

Still, she has kept up with the court’s work, including during May’s telephonic oral arguments held remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. She joined one such debate from Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was recovering from acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition.

After that hospitalization, the court announced that she would return for follow-up outpatient visits and eventually have the gallstone removed.

Ginsburg was nominated to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and is now second in length of service among the current justices, behind Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

The court has a 5-4 conservative majority that could be expanded if she were to be replaced by a Republican president and Senate. If Democrats win the White House or the Senate in November, that would change the equation.

The formal 2018 portrait of the Supreme Court of the United States. Seated from left: Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. Standing behind from left: Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. – Jack Gruber, USA TODAY

Courtesy/Source: USA Today