Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized with infection

Ginsburg is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment, the court said.
Image: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Washington on June 1, 2017.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Washington on June 1, 2017.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters file

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By Pete Williams and Dartunorro Clark

Supreme Court Justice Ruther Ginsburg was admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday for treatment of a possible infection.

Ginsburg was initially evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Monday night after experiencing fever and chills. She underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins on Tuesday afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August, the court said.

The 87-year-old justice is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment, according to the court.

Ginsburg was hospitalized earlier this year released after being treated for gallstones. She underwent a nonsurgical treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore 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.

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

Her health issues have put the liberal icon under scrutiny, particularly as she has clashed with Trump, who has bolstered the conservative majority on the court with two appointees during his first term.

During the 2016 election, she called then-candidate Trump a "faker" who "really has an ego." This lead then-candidate Trump to lash out on Twitter in 2016 saying "her mind is shot," and called on her to resign. Ginsburg later apologized for her comments.

Despite her health issues, Ginsburg, nominated by President Bill Clinton, has remained an active justice during the court's oral arguments. Last year, she missed a courtroom argument for the first time since she took her seat on the bench in 1993.

She was active during the court's current term, which ended earlier this month, in 5-4 decisions that overturned a state law restricting access to abortion, and that blocked the Trump administration from shutting down DACA, which allows young people known as Dreamers to remain in the U.S.