Justice Ginsburg back in hospital for nonsurgical procedure

Justice Ginsburg back in hospital for nonsurgical procedure

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the hospital again, this time for a “minimally invasive” nonsurgical procedure, the Supreme Court announced Wednesday night.

Ginsburg was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where she received a bile duct stent a year ago.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks during a discussion Feb. 10 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Patrick Semansky/Associated Press, file

“According to her doctors, stent revisions are common occurrences and the procedure, performed using endoscopy and medical imaging guidance, was done to minimize the risk of future infection,” court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement. “The justice is resting comfortably and expects to be released from the hospital by the end of the week.”

Ginsburg, 87, is the court’s oldest member and the senior leader of its liberals. Her health is a recurring cause of concern and speculation about whether she can remain on the court.

This month, Ginsburg was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore because of fever and chills, possibly related to an infection. She underwent an endoscopic procedure to clean out the stent that was placed last August, the court said at the time.

More seriously, Ginsburg announced on July 17 that she has had a recurrence of cancer, her fourth diagnosis of the disease.

Ginsburg said then that she was being treated for lesions on her liver, but that chemotherapy had been successful.

“I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam,” Ginsburg said in a statement at the time. “I remain fully able to do that.”

In her statement, Ginsburg said doctors discovered lesions on her liver in February. She started immunotherapy, but it proved unsuccessful, so she began chemotherapy in mid-May, she said. A subsequent scan on July 7 indicated “significant reduction” of the lesions and no new disease, she said.

Ginsburg’s description of the cancer as a “recurrence” and the use of the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine indicated that the newly discovered lesions on her liver are the result of the pancreatic cancer with which she was diagnosed last year, several oncologists said.

The justice said she was receiving biweekly chemotherapy.

If Ginsburg were unable to continue in her work, it would give President Trump the chance to make a third nomination to the Supreme Court. Even though it is a presidential election year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would push through a nominee. McConnell blocked President Barack Obama’s choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, saying the next president should make the selection.

Because confirmation of a new justice requires only a majority of the Senate, Democrats would be unable to block the action on their own.

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Published at Thu, 30 Jul 2020 02:24:54 +0000