US high court justice home after heart procedure
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from the hospital Thursday after having a heart stent implanted to clear a blocked artery, a spokeswoman for the high court said.
The 81-year-old justice, who was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1993, has rejected suggestions from some liberals that she should step down and give President Barack Obama a chance to name her successor.
Her hospitalization just three weeks after elections handed Republicans control of the Senate raised anew the question whether Obama would be able to appoint a like-minded replacement.
Bader was sent home and was expected to be at work when the court hears its next round of oral arguments on Monday, spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.
Ginsburg was rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital Center late Tuesday after experiencing discomfort during exercise with a personal trainer.
Ginsburg’s procedure came after a blockage was discovered in her right coronary artery, Arberg said.
She has had a series of health problems, including colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. But the court’s oldest justice has not missed any time on the job since joining the high court.
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.
In one sense, it’s already late for that, because the Senate will be in Republican hands come January, making confirmation more difficult.
Still, the picture would look worse yet for the Democrats if a Republican should win the presidential election in 2016. A retirement then by a liberal justice would allow the appointment of a more conservative justice and potentially flip the outcome in important 5-4 decisions in death penalty, abortion, even gay rights cases in which the liberal side sometimes prevails.
Associated Press writers Nancy Benac and Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.