US Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg back in hospital


US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: September 2019Image copyright

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Justice Ginsburg is the most senior liberal judge on the US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had non-surgical treatment for a gallbladder condition, and is now “resting comfortably”, the court says.

Ms Ginsburg, 87, was treated in Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital on Tuesday, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement.

Ms Ginsburg plans on Wednesday to take part in the court’s work remotely from the hospital.

As the court’s most senior liberal justice, her health is closely watched.

She is expected to stay in the hospital for up to two days.

On Wednesday, the court’s justices will be continuing hearing oral arguments by telephone because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. They are expected to consider a case relating to the Affordable Care Act.

Justice Ginsburg is the oldest sitting justice on the Supreme Court, and has received hospital treatment a number of times in recent years.

Last November, she was taken to hospital after suffering chills and a fever.

In August, she was treated for a cancerous tumour on her pancreas. She received treatment for colon cancer in 1999, and pancreatic cancer in 2009.

In December 2018, she had surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her lung.

She has also suffered fractured ribs from falls.

US Supreme Court justices serve for life or until they choose to retire, and supporters have expressed concern that if anything were to happen to Ms Ginsburg then a more conservative judge might replace her.

President Donald Trump has appointed two judges since taking office, and the current court is seen to have a 5-4 conservative majority in most cases.

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