Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, Hospitalized for Gallstone Infection

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Tuesday for acute cholecystitis at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, according to the court's office of public information. Acute cholecystitis in a "benign gallbladder condition," according to the office, which also announced Ginsburg planned to participate in oral arguments Wednesday as scheduled.

"Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent non-surgical treatment for acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition, this afternoon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland," a statement from the Supreme Court said. "Following oral arguments on Monday, the Justice underwent outpatient tests at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., that confirmed she was suffering from a gallstone that had migrated to her cystic duct, blocking it and causing an infection. The Justice is resting comfortably and plans to participate in the oral argument teleconference tomorrow morning remotely from the hospital. She expects to stay in the hospital for a day or two. Updates will be provided as they become available."

The 87-year-old justice has had several health issues over the past few years, including multiple bouts with cancer. She was treated for a tumor on her pancreas in August 2019, and in December 2018 had two cancerous nodules removed from her lungs. In January 2020, Ginsburg announced she was "cancer free."

Despite the slew of health issues fueling speculation that her possible exit could provide an opportunity for President Donald Trump to appoint a third justice to the bench, Ginsburg has consistently slapped down any notion that her departure was imminent, insisting that she'd like to remain on the bench until she is 90 years old.

"There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months," Bader Ginsburg said last year in an interview with National Public Radio. "That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive."


Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments remotely via teleconference this week. The arguments were live streamed, allowing anyone with internet access to listen along. Wednesday's case has involved a lengthy battle spanning eight years with the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious group serving the pro and elderly.