Gins­burg leaves hos­pi­tal, plans to work from home

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - OP-ED -

Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg was dis­charged from the hos­pi­tal Fri­day af­ter treat­ment for three bro­ken ribs suf­fered in a fall at her of­fice Wed­nes­day evening.

“She is do­ing well and plans to work from home to­day,” said Kath­leen Ar­berg, a spokes­woman for the court.

If his­tory is any guide, Gins­burg will be on the bench at the next sit­ting of the Supreme Court, which be­gins Nov. 26. In 2012, she broke two ribs with­out miss­ing work. Two years later, she re­turned to work quickly af­ter un­der­go­ing a heart pro­ce­dure.

She has had cancer twice, and has at­trib­uted her sur­vival partly to the med­i­cal care she re­ceived at the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health.

“Ever since my col­orec­tal cancer in 1999, I have been fol­lowed by the NIH,” she said in a 2013 in­ter­view. “That was very lucky for me be­cause they de­tected my pan­cre­atic cancer at a very early stage” in 2009.

Gins­burg was back on the bench less than three weeks af­ter un­der­go­ing the sec­ond cancer surgery.

Af­ter her fall Wed­nes­day night, Gins­burg re­turned home but ex­pe­ri­enced dis­com­fort dur­ing the night. She was ad­mit­ted to Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal on Thurs­day morn­ing for ob­ser­va­tion and treat­ment.

Gins­burg, 85, is the se­nior mem­ber of the court’s fourmem­ber lib­eral wing. She has re­peat­edly vowed to stay on the court as long as her health holds and she stays men­tally sharp.

In the 2013 in­ter­view, she said she loved her work and in­tended to con­tinue “as long as I can do the job full-steam, and that, at my age, is not pre­dictable.”

At oral ar­gu­ments, her ques­tion­ing is pointed and be­trays de­tailed fa­mil­iar­ity with the par­ties’ le­gal ar­gu­ments and the record in the case.

She of­ten talks about her work­outs with a trainer, whom she has called “my phys­i­cal fit­ness guardian since 1999.”

Gins­burg was named to the court in 1993 by Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton.

She was the first Demo­cratic ap­point­ment since 1967, when Pres­i­dent Lyn­don B. John­son nom­i­nated Thur­good Mar­shall.

Gins­burg was born in Brook­lyn in 1933, grad­u­ated from Cor­nell in 1954 and be­gan law school at Har­vard. Af­ter mov­ing to New York with her hus­band, she trans­ferred to Columbia, where she earned her law de­gree.

She taught at Columbia and Rut­gers and was a lead­ing court­room ad­vo­cate of women’s rights be­fore join­ing the court.

As di­rec­tor of the Women’s Rights Project of the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union in the 1970s, she brought a se­ries of cases be­fore the court that helped es­tab­lish con­sti­tu­tional pro­tec­tions against sex dis­crim­i­na­tion.


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