Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart stent implanted on Wednesday, reviving talk about how long the 81-year-old liberal jurist will be staying on the court.
Ginsburg was expected back at work on Monday, but her hospitalization — just three weeks after elections handed Republicans control of the Senate — raised anew the question of whether President Barack Obama would be able to appoint a like-minded replacement.
The situation “sends many, particularly on the left of the political spectrum, into a tizzy,” said Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School.
Ginsburg’s procedure came after a blockage was discovered in her right coronary artery, said court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg. The justice was taken to the hospital by ambulance at about 10 p.m. Tuesday after she “experienced discomfort” during routine exercise at the court with her personal trainer, Arberg said. The justice was expected to leave the hospital within 48 hours.
“She expects to be on the bench on Monday” when the court next hears oral arguments, Arberg said.
Ginsburg, who leads the court’s liberal wing, has for years been fending off questions about whether she should retire and give a Democratic president a chance to name her successor.