Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted to hospital for nonsurgical bile stent procedure

A Supreme Court spokesperson said Ginsburg, 87, "is resting comfortably" after undergoing a minimally invasive procedure Wednesday in a New York hospital.
Image: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then celebrating her 20th anniversary on the court, at the Supreme Court in Washington on Aug. 30, 2013.Nikki Kahn / The Washington Post via Getty Images
By Pete Williams and Dartunorro Clark

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to a hospital Wednesday to undergo a routine nonsurgical procedure to correct a bile stent, a court spokesperson told NBC News.

Ginsburg, 87, who has had past health scares, is customarily transparent about her medical history. She was admitted to and quickly released from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore earlier this month for treatment of a possible infection.

She underwent a minimally invasive procedure Wednesday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to revise a bile duct stent that was placed in August 2019, the court said in a statement.

"According to her doctors, stent revisions are common occurrences, and the procedure, performed using endoscopy and medical imaging guidance, was done to minimize the risk of future infection," the court spokesperson said. "The Justice is resting comfortably and expects to be released from the hospital by the end of the week."

Ginsburg, one of the court's liberal-leaning justices, was treated last summer for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas, and she underwent surgery in late 2018 for lung cancer.

She was hospitalized earlier this year for treatment of gallstones. She underwent a nonsurgical treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in May for a benign gallbladder condition that was causing an infection. The condition was detected after the court's historic telephone session for oral arguments. Tests confirmed that a gallstone had migrated to her cystic duct, causing a blockage and infection.

Despite her health issues, Ginsburg was active during the court's term this year, which ended this month. Last year, she missed a courtroom argument for the first time since she took her seat on the court in 1993.

CORRECTION (July 29, 2020, 11:50 p.m. ET): A photo caption on a previous version of this article misstated how long Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been on the bench. While she did not join the Supreme Court until 1993, she had been a U.S. circuit judge for 14 years before that.