There’s a reason Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is called Notorious RBG.
WASHINGTON – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from the hospital Wednesday evening, one day after being admitted for a benign gallbladder condition that caused an infection, the Supreme Court announced.
Ginsburg, 87, had “non-surgical treatment” for acute cholecystitis, and spent the night in the hospital. A statement from the court reads that Ginsburg “is doing well and glad to be home.”
“The Justice will return to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for follow-up outpatient visits over the next few weeks to eventually remove the gallstone non-surgically,” the statement continued.
Ginsburg initially sought medical care Monday after oral arguments and received outpatient tests at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. The tests confirmed that she had a gallstone blocking her cystic duct that resulted in an infection.
Ginsburg, also referred to as the “Notorious RBG” by her fans, is a leader of the court’s minority of liberal judges. She has battled several health problems over the years.
She most recently was hospitalized to treat a malignant tumor found on her pancreas in August, for which she underwent a three-week course of radiation therapy.
She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and was treated for pancreatic cancer in 2009. She had surgery in late 2018 when cancerous nodules were discovered in her lungs after she fell and fractured three ribs. That marked the first time she had missed a day in her 26 years on the Supreme Court.
The court is hearing oral arguments by telephone this week because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The high court also offered a live audio stream of an oral argument for the first time, going far beyond its usual protocol and giving advocates of greater transparency hope it will become a trend.
The high court’s oldest justice joined the court’s telephonic debate Wednesday morning from the hospital to hear a case concerning whether the Affordable Care Act can force religious objectors to provide cost-free insurance coverage for contraceptives.
The Trump administration sides with the religious objectors, led by Little Sisters of the Poor, against the position taken by the Obama administration. It has sought to exempt groups with religious or moral objections but has been blocked by federal courts. The Supreme Court, previously deadlocked, now has a solidly conservative majority.
And the leader of the court’s liberal minority didn’t mince words on Wednesday.
“You have just tossed entirely to the wind what Congress thought was essential,” she told U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who was defending the new exemption that lower courts have blocked temporarily. “The women end up getting nothing. They are required to do just what Congress didn’t want.”
Contributing: Richard Wolf, Jeanine Santucci
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