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Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized With an Infection

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks at a discussion hosted by the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., September 12, 2019. (Sarah Silbiger/Reuters)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized with an infection, the Court announced Tuesday evening.

The 87-year-old justice developed an infection caused by a gallstone and received nonsurgical treatment on Tuesday. The infection was discovered during outpatient tests at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.

“The justice is resting comfortably and plans to participate in the oral argument teleconference tomorrow morning remotely from the hospital,” the Supreme Court said in a statement.

Ginsburg expects to remain in the hospital for “a day or two,” the Court added.

In January, Ginsburg missed oral arguments at the Court for the first time in her over 25 years as a justice. She worked from home the following week and made decisions using briefs and transcripts of oral arguments.

The famously resilient justice has survived cancer several times, including colorectal cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009, and lung cancer two years ago. She has dismissed the possibility of retiring soon, saying last summer that she plans to serve “at least five more years” on the court. Her health has remained a subject of intense speculation among Court-watchers, given the possibility that she could vacate her seat and give conservatives a chance to grow their five–seat majority.

For the first time in its history, the Supreme Court on Monday began hearing oral arguments remotely by teleconference. Ginsburg participated in Tuesday’s argument and plans to continue doing so remotely.

On Wednesday, the court will hear a case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have waged an eight-year fight against the Obama administration’s mandate that employers provide contraception coverage in the health insurance plans for their employees. Pennsylvania and New Jersey have sued the federal government over the Trump administration’s exemption from the mandate for the Little Sisters.

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