Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized for treatment, 87-year-old justice is ‘resting comfortably’

Screengrab Library of Congress

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was hospitalized Tuesday and the left would need a moment to collectively gather itself.

The good news for the 87-year-old liberal jurist, given her history of cancer, is that the visit was to undergo a nonsurgical treatment for inflammation of the gallbladder.

Ginsburg was admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday after undergoing outpatient tests Monday at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., the Supreme Court said in a statement.

“Following oral arguments on Monday, the Justice underwent outpatient tests at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., that confirmed she was suffering from a gallstone that had migrated to her cystic duct, blocking it and causing an infection,” the statement said.

According to the release, the frail high court justice is now “resting comfortably” at Hopkins and is expected to stay in the hospital for a day or two. Ginsburg also plans to participate in oral arguments Wednesday.

“The Justice is resting comfortably and plans to participate in the oral argument teleconference tomorrow morning remotely from the hospital. She expects to stay in the hospital for a day or two. Updates will be provided as they become available,” the court added.

Ginsburg, named to the court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, has been treated four times for cancer. Her most recent bout was in August when she underwent radiation for a tumor on her pancreas.

In December 2018, Ginsburg underwent surgery to have cancerous growths in a lung removed.

It has been less than six months since her last hospital stay, as Ginsburg spent two nights at Johns Hopkins in late November with a likely infection after suffering from chills and fever.

Justice Ginsburg is the senior member of the high court’s liberal wing and has vowed to stay on the court as long as her health and mental agility hold up.

President Trump has appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

As noted by the New York Times on Tuesday, the last president to appoint more than two justices in his first term was Richard M. Nixon.

Nixon put four justices on the Supreme Court from 1969 to 1972, with the newspaper lamenting that “those appointments spelled the end of the liberal court that had been led by Chief Justice Earl Warren and created a conservative majority that remains to this day.”

Every time she encounters a health scare, there is a revisit of why Ginsburg didn’t step down while President Barack Obama was in office.

Right on cue, the Times reported Tuesday that while some liberals urged  Ginsburg to step down so Obama could name her successor, she rejected the advice.

“I think it’s going to be another Democratic president,” she told The Washington Post in 2013. “The Democrats do fine in presidential elections; their problem is they can’t get out the vote in the midterm elections.”

The online reaction from the left is an interesting mix of anxiety and self-assurance, with a sprinkling of “get out the vote” reminders for November.

Here’s a sampling of the responses from Twitter:

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