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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospitalization at Johns Hopkins Hospital over the weekend

By Rachel Brooks

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized this week for chills and fever. She headed home on Sunday, citing Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg. 

Ginsburg was first evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hosptial in Washington, D.C. After her initial medical eval, she was transferred to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD on Friday night. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 2005 Public Domain license

Justice Ginsburg has suffered from failing health for the last 20 years. She has survived cancer 4 times, citing Greg Stohr, a Supreme Court reporter for Bloomberg News. 

 She was treated for colon cancer in 1999. She was also treated for early-onset pancreatic cancer in 2009. As of this year, she has again received radiation treatments for both pancreatic and lung cancer, citing the New York Times. 

Justice Ginsburg is aged 86. This most recent healthcare scare is allegedly due to an infection. Citing the Guardian, Ginsburg was administered intravenous antibiotic treatment for the flu-like infection symptoms. 

Members of both the left and right wings of the government keep Ginsburg’s health under close surveillance. Her illness bouts have contributed to her absence from the Court as of November 13, 2019, citing NBC news. On November 13, Ginsburg was absent for two courtroom arguments. The incident on November 13 was attributed to quote, “the stomach bug”. This bout of illness may have contributed to the infectious symptoms as of this week. Ginsburg was believed to have remained at her residence during the illness bout incident of November 13. There are no known reports that she was hospitalized on this date. 

Ginsburg was not present in the Court on November 13, but she did contribute her opinions to the cases. She was presented briefs and transcripts of the cases for review, as well as recordings of the oral arguments, citing Fox News. 


Screencapture of the letter Stohr received from SCOTUS spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, Twitter

Ginsburg’s health is of keen interest to the Federal government. Her absences come at a time of civil imbalance in the Court. The two parties within the Court are perhaps more agitated than any other time this year with the Trump impeachment efforts proceeding.

Both parties grow anxious about Ginsburg’s age as well. Her health is becoming a recurring issue as the most recent cases presented to the Court will define the future of American law. Current cases include a review of lawsuits made against Trump’s taxes, citing News Channel 21.   

The fact that Justice Ginsburg now ages 86 leaves the American people keenly aware of her potential retirement or eventual natural passing. If her seat soon becomes vacant, this would mean that the Trump administration could choose a rapid replacement for her. This would pull the Court to trend toward a predominate right-leaning. 

Political commentators on both sides fear that Ginsburg’s health will add tensions in the current Trump impeachment hearings as well as in the 2020 election process. Some have commented on Ginsburg’s possible willingness to retire. She has, however, allegedly remained in her seat to await a Democratic president. It is Ginsburg’s desire for a Democratic president to name her successor, citing statements Ginsburg has publicly made in 2013 when her party suggested she step down. Her liberal peers were fearful that issues with her health would lead to Republicans seizing the political opportunity. She was confident in her ability to continue then. She has made no public statements yet regarding her continued presence in the Court. 

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