Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized: Here’s What You Need To Know

ruth bader ginsburg hospitalized

Getty Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized due to an infection, which the Supreme Court said was caused by a gallstone in a statement.

Ginsburg was in the hospital as an outpatient Monday, May 4, at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., where doctors said she had a gallstone blocking her cystic duct, Fox News reported. The blockage resulted in an infection.

The 87-year-old returned Tuesday, May 5, to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland for a non-surgical treatment of acute cholecystitis, which is inflammation of the gallbladder.

The Supreme Court has stated that she is “resting comfortably” before returning to work.

Many quickly offered their support for her recovery on social media:

The Supreme Court expects her to be in the hospital for one or two days. She is still planning to take part in the telephonic oral arguments that she was previously scheduled to attend.

Here is the full statement from the Supreme Court:

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent non-surgical treatment for acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition, this afternoon at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Following oral arguments on Monday, the Justice underwent outpatient tests at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., that confirmed she was suffering from a gallstone that had migrated to her cystic duct, blocking it and causing an infection. The Justice is resting comfortably and plans to participate in the oral argument teleconference tomorrow morning remotely from the hospital. She expects to stay in the hospital for a day or two. Updates will be provided as they become available.”

Here’s what you need to know:


This Is Not Ginsburg’s First Health Ordeal

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Getty)

Ginsburg has had health scares in the past. In 1991, she had a bout with colorectal cancer and in 2009, she developed pancreatic cancer. She developed lung cancer in 2018 and part of her left lung was removed as treatment, the New York Times reported. Her pancreatic cancer returned in the form of a malignant tumor in August of 2019 and she underwent intense radiation to treat it.

The Supreme Court released a statement in August of 2019, stating, “The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.” In January 2020, she told the Washington Post that she was “cancer-free.”

Ginsburg has also had non-cancer-related injuries. In November of 2018, CNBC reported that Ginsburg fell in her office and fractured three ribs. She also fractured two ribs in 2012.

In 2014, she went to the hospital after feeling discomfort during a workout and doctors placed a stent in her heart.

Ginsburg, appointed by President Bill Clinton, took the Oath of Office on Aug. 10, 1993 and is currently the oldest judge on the bench. The court is currently divided 5-4 in favor of Republican-appointed justices. Ginsburg is one of the four Democratic-appointed justices.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Ginsburg’s current condition is usually caused by “gallstones blocking the tube leading out of your gallbladder.” This causes cholecystitis, and “bile buildup that can cause inflammation.” Other causes of cholecystitis “include bile duct problems, tumors, serious illness and certain infections,” Mayo Clinic reports. The condition can be life-threatening if it’s not treated.


Ginsburg Has Been Dedicated to Fitness for Years

Ginsburg is well-known for maintaining a rigorous exercise schedule.

She took up exercise after the colon cancer scare and has maintained it ever since. Her trainer, Bryant Johnson, wrote “The RGB Workout,” a book about her fitness regiment in 2017. 

Her workout includes stretches, bench presses, planks and pushups, among other exercises. Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told CNN that Ginsburg had requested her own space in the facility to exercise. “Her doctors share her view that the training sessions are essential to her well-being,” Arberg said.

Johnson said Ginsburg was still attending the twice-a-week workout sessions until D.C.’s stay-at-home order was issued this year, according to The Cut.

The Justice told CNN that she believed she could stay on the court until the age of 90, the same age as her former colleague Justice John Paul Stevens when he stepped down from the bench.

In October of 2019, when Bloomberg’s David Rubenstein asked her if she wanted to break that record, she said, “He’s my role model.”

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