Washington • The Supreme Court said Wednesday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from a hospital after being treated for a possible infection.
A court spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the 87-year-old Ginsburg was “home and doing well.”
Ginsburg, the court’s oldest justice, had gone to a hospital in Washington on Monday evening after experiencing fever and chills. She had a procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August when she was treated for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas. The court said in a statement Tuesday that she would “stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.”
While Ginsburg was said to be doing well, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, asked Wednesday by reporters about the possibility of a vacancy on the court before the election, said President Donald Trump would act quickly if any opening were to arise.
“I can’t imagine if he had a vacancy on the Supreme Court that he would not very quickly make the appointment and look for the Senate to take quick action. That being said, we’re glad Ruth Bader Ginsburg is out of hospital,” he said, adding he didn’t want any comment to be seen “as we wish her anything but the very best.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said that if there were to be a vacancy on the court during this year’s election cycle, the Republican-controlled Senate would likely confirm a nominee selected by Trump. During President Barack Obama’s final year in office, McConnell blocked Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, saying the 2016 election should determine who would get to nominate the person to fill Scalia’s seat.
Ginsburg, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton and joined the court in 1993, has been treated four times for cancer. In addition to the tumor on her pancreas last year, she was previously treated for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. She had lung surgery to remove cancerous growths in December 2018.
Ginsburg spent a night in the hospital in May with an infection caused by a gallstone. While in the hospital, she participated in arguments the court heard by telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic.