By Andrew Chung and Simon Thompson
WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been released from the hospital after breaking three ribs in a fall, a court spokeswoman said on Friday.
Ginsburg, one of four liberals on the Supreme Court and at 85 its oldest justice, was hospitalized on Thursday after falling in her office at the court on Wednesday evening.
She “is doing well and plans to work from home today,” court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement on Friday.
Republican President Donald Trump, whose second conservative nominee to the country’s highest court, Brett Kavanaugh, took up his post last month, said he wished Ginsburg well.
“She said something very inappropriate during the campaign, but she apologized for it,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “I wouldn’t say she’s exactly on my side, but I wish her well. I hope she gets better. And I hope she serves in the Supreme Court for many, many years,” he said.
Ginsburg called Trump an egotistical “faker” when he was running for president in 2016, in an unusual foray into politics by a justice. Trump responded by saying her “mind is shot” and she should resign. Ginsburg later expressed regret, saying “judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office.”
Before her discharge, Ginsburg was already up and working from her hospital room, her nephew Daniel Stiepleman said on Thursday night at the Hollywood premiere of the film “On the Basis of Sex,” about a gender-based discrimination case Ginsburg tried as a young lawyer in 1972.
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 conservative majority was restored last month when the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh after a contentious nomination process in which Kavanaugh denied a sexual assault allegation from his youth. The court is not scheduled to hear its next arguments in cases until Nov. 26.
As the oldest justice, Ginsburg is closely watched for any signs of deteriorating health.
If Ginsburg were unable to continue serving, Trump could replace her with a conservative, further shifting the court to the right. A potentially dominant 6-3 conservative majority would have major consequences for issues including abortion, the death penalty, voting rights, gay rights and religious liberty.
Ginsburg has bounced back from previous medical issues and has fallen twice before at her home, in 2012 and 2013, leading to rib injuries. She was treated in 1999 for colon cancer and again in 2009 for pancreatic cancer, but did not miss any argument sessions either time.
In 2014, doctors placed a stent in her right coronary artery to improve blood flow after she reported discomfort following routine exercise. She was released from a hospital the next day.
Ginsburg, who made her name as an advocate for women’s rights, was appointed to the court in 1993 by then President Bill Clinton. Ginsburg has helped buttress equality rights during her time on the high court, including in sex discrimination cases.
Her career was shaped in part by discrimination she faced as a young lawyer in a predominantly male profession: she was one of just nine women at Harvard Law School in the 1950s, and later struggled to find a firm that would hire her.
“She was making mistakes, finding out who she was, had a very young family, her husband wasn’t very well,” actress Felicity Jones, who plays her in the film, told Reuters on the red carpet of the film “On the Basis of Sex.”
“She was juggling a lot of difficult things at the same time but always (had) this absolute commitment to the law.”
A documentary film about Ginsburg, “RBG,” was released earlier this year, and the Hollywood biopic will be released at Christmas.
(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, Doina Chiacu and Lisa Richwine; Writing by Andrew Chung and Peter Graff; Editing by Will Dunham and Frances Kerry)