Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, after falling in her office last night and fracturing three ribs.
According to a statement issued by the Supreme Court Thursday morning, Ginsburg was admitted to the hospital for “observation and treatment.”
Ginsburg, 85, was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She is the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing — which is now a four-justice minority after the replacement of occasional swing justice Anthony Kennedy with conservative Brett Kavanaugh earlier this year. She’s also become a culture hero for progressives — lovingly nicknamed the “Notorious RBG” — thanks both to her Supreme Court jurisprudence and her early career as a pioneering advocate for gender equality in law.
Ginsburg has suffered from broken ribs before, in June 2012 and May 2013, but recovered fully in both cases. She has long bragged about the weight-lifting routine she uses to stay in shape.
If Ginsburg retires or dies, President Donald Trump will be able to nominate a third Supreme Court justice, following his nominations of Neal Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Ginsburg was criticized by some progressives for refusing to retire during President Barack Obama’s administration to guarantee replacement by a liberal justice.
Republicans are expected to have a 54-seat majority in the Senate starting in January 2019, after gaining three seats in the 2018 midterm elections. (Although races in Florida and Arizona have not yet been called.) This would allow them to confirm a Trump nominee with little difficulty.
The Supreme Court statement is below.
NEW — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fractured three ribs last night, admitted for observation and treatment to GW Hospital: pic.twitter.com/I7wUa1fP4A— J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) November 8, 2018