Justice Ginsburg hospitalized with fractured ribs
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Thursday morning with three broken ribs after falling in her office Wednesday evening, a spokeswoman said.
Ginsburg, 85, went home after her fall, but experienced discomfort during the night. She was admitted to George Washington University Hospital, where doctors found three broken ribs on her left side, Kathy Arberg, a Supreme Court spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The next sitting of the Supreme Court begins Nov. 26, and Ginsburg’s history suggests the injuries are not likely to keep her away. She broke two ribs in 2012, without missing work. And she returned to work quickly after undergoing a heart procedure in 2012. She is also a cancer survivor and returned to work less than three weeks after having surgery.
Still, even with her resilience, liberals have become jittery about how much more time she will be able to serve, particularly with the balance of the Supreme Court shifting to the right because of President Donald Trump’s appointment of two conservative justices. Ginsburg is the senior member of the court’s liberal wing. A third Trump appointment to the court would give it a dominant 6-3 conservative majority.
Broken ribs are usually painful, and could puncture the lung, depending on the specifics of the break. Arberg did not provide additional details about how Ginsburg fell or whether she fell because of another medical condition. Broken ribs typically take about six weeks to heal, but it varies from case to case.
By midday, Trump had not publicly commented on Ginsburg’s hospitalization. In the morning, the president attended a formal ceremony at the Supreme Court for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was sworn in last month. All of the justices were there except for Ginsburg.
Trump has been critical of Ginsburg, saying in 2016 that “her mind is shot” and suggesting that she resign. His sharp words came after Ginsburg mocked Trump in a series of interviews. She later said she had made a mistake in publicly commenting on a candidate and promised to be more “circumspect” in the future.
Ginsburg was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and is its oldest justice. She has said she will stay for as long as she is healthy and mentally sharp.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg