Justice Ginsburg, 85, Hospitalized After Fracturing 3 Ribs In Fall


Eighty-five-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fractured three ribs in a fall in her office at the court and is in the hospital, the court said Thursday.

The court’s oldest justice fell Wednesday evening, the court said. She called Supreme Court police to take her to George Washington University Hospital in Washington early Thursday after experiencing discomfort overnight, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

She was admitted to the hospital for treatment and observation after tests showed she fractured three ribs.

In her absence, the court went ahead Thursday with a courtroom ceremony welcoming new Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who joined the court last month. President Donald Trump and new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker were on hand.

Ginsburg has had a series of health problems. She broke two ribs in a fall in 2012. She has had two prior bouts with cancer and had a stent implanted to open a blocked artery in 2014. She also was hospitalized after a bad reaction to medicine in 2009.

But she has never missed Supreme Court arguments. The court won’t hear arguments again until Nov. 26.

Rib fractures are common among older adults, particularly after falls. The severity depends in part on whether the ribs are cracked or broken all the way through, and how many are broken. The extent of Ginsburg’s injury was not clear.

A complete break requires making sure the two ends are in alignment, so that a sharp piece of bone doesn’t puncture nearby blood vessels or organs. Broken ribs typically heal on their own in six weeks to a month, and patients are advised to limit strenuous activity. But they can be very painful and controlling pain is key. A chief complication is pneumonia, when patients don’t breathe deeply enough or cough enough because of the rib pain.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg rebuffed suggestions from some liberals that she should step down in the first two years of President Barack Obama’s second term, when Democrats also controlled the Senate and would have been likely to confirm her successor.

She already has hired clerks for the term that extends into 2020, indicating she has no plans to retire.

Ginsburg leads the court’s liberal wing.



  1. It appears now that the future of the American legal system comes down to her ability to remain alive until there is a Democratic president and/or an Democratic Senate, something that requires a minimum of 27 months. Otherwise the “Judges decide cases based on policy” system of recent generations gets replaced by criteria based on the original meaning of laws and the actual text as the law was enacted.

  2. Well, at least B”H we Republicans have the majority in the Senate with a good President who will surely replace her with a Conservative nominee. Yes, elections have consequences.

  3. She should have a Refuah Shleimah. She should be healthy to 120, just not in on the Supreme Court Bench. Do I hear ‘Vacancy in the Supreme Court?”. “Do I hear 50+ Republican Majority in the Senate”? Hopefully, and yes 🙂

  4. She should have a refuah shelamah and quickly….The most recent update on her condition says she will be recuperating at home over the weekend and be back at work later next week. While we don’t agree with all her opinions (as we don’t with the more conservatives Justices), we never wish anything but good health whether it be the Trumpkopf or any member of our nation’s leadership.

  5. A refuah sheleima, Bubby from Brooklyn .
    Can you do us a chessed’l and just retire now, so that perhaps Amy Coney Barrett could replace you?
    Much obliged.

  6. We moral Americans should merit to see her speedy departure from the Supreme Court, and witness President Donald Trump pick a 3rd conservative Judge to the supreme court, now enhanced with an even larger majority on the United States Senate, than when the last 2 judges were picked by President Donald Trump.

  7. akuperma, wait for a Democratic president? You mean someone like Pro-Palestinian Keith Ellison or Corey Booker? Maybe the newly elected Democratic- 2 Muslims (waving the Palestinian flag), 2 openly gay politicians, or “sweetheart” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who asked about Palestinian rights.

    You means the Democratic party of today, which would have made a Christian Bakery make a cake against their will for a LGBT wedding, or the Democratic party of #METOO that wants a woman to decide to have an abortion into the final weeks of presidency? Which one is it? The Republican Party is very far from perfect (and they make many mistakes), but your D Party of today….. you’ve got to kidding me!
    It’s possible you are on the wrong website, but many of us consider ourselves Torah Jews, respecting time-honored traditional values.

  8. Kok hakovod to all the CR posters who resisted the temptation to vent about RBG’s politics and simply wished her a refuah shelamah (although several couldn’t resist adding their best wishes for a speedy retirement) In the current political climate we could learn a lot from the Justices of the Supreme Court who somehow seem to get along extraordinarily well notwithstanding their vast idealogical differences. Ginsburg’s best friend on the Court was the late Justice Scalia who routinely was seen attending the Washington Opera with Ginsburg and dining together afterwards.