Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discharged from hospital


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at The Library of Congress on February 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)

Shannon Finney

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Wednesday, one day after she was admitted with a possible infection, a Supreme Court spokesperson said in a statement. 

“She is home and doing well,” the spokesperson said. 

The 87-year-old liberal was treated after reporting a fever and chills. She underwent a procedure to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed in August. On Tuesday, the court said that Ginsburg would remain in the hospital “for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.” 

Ginsburg’s health has attracted widespread concern because a vacancy on the court could allow President Donald Trump to nominate a conservative replacement who could tilt the ideological balance of the nine-member panel for years to come.

The justice, who wields what is likely the highest public profile among the justices, has overcome multiple bouts of cancer, including several scares in recent years. 

Ginsburg’s hospitalization comes after the Supreme Court’s most recent term wrapped up last week, marking the completion of the first full term with both of Trump’s appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, on the bench. The justices will next hear arguments in October.

As a precaution against the spread of Covid-19, the top court closed its building to the public and in May heard arguments by phone for the first time in its history. Ginsburg at one point called into an argument from Johns Hopkins after being treated for a benign gallbladder condition.

A number of the justices are at advanced risk of being affected by the disease because of their age or underlying conditions. Six justices are 65 or older: Ginsburg; Chief Justice John Roberts; and Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor. 

Given her age — Ginsburg is the eldest justice — some on the left have criticized Ginsburg for refusing to retire while former President Barack Obama was in office. At an event in New York City last year, Ginsburg rejected the premise of those attacks. 

“When that suggestion is made, I ask the question: Who do you think the president could nominate that could get through the Republican Senate? Who you would prefer on the court than me?” Ginsburg said.

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