Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Justice Ginsburg released after a night in hospital

Bloomberg News//October 16, 2009

Justice Ginsburg released after a night in hospital

Bloomberg News//October 16, 2009

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court’s second-oldest justice, was hospitalized overnight for the second time in three weeks after suffering a reaction to a sleeping aid combined with a cold medication.

Ginsburg, released from the hospital Thursday, had boarded a plane for London Wednesday night when she “experienced extreme drowsiness causing her to fall from her seat,” the court said in a statement. “Paramedics were called and the justice was taken to the Washington Hospital Center as a precaution.”

Ginsburg, 76, is a two-time cancer survivor who was treated for pancreatic cancer in February and colon cancer in 1999. In both cases, she returned to the bench without missing any arguments.

She was hospitalized overnight last month after feeling faint following an iron sucrose infusion that was administered to treat a form of anemia.

Ginsburg was scheduled to join three of her colleagues, including Chief Justice John Roberts, at the ceremonial opening of the U.K. Supreme Court in London. Justice Stephen Breyer was on the flight with Ginsburg when she became ill, Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe Estrada said. Breyer got off with her and later rescheduled his flight to London, Estrada said.

Doctors evaluated Ginsburg at the hospital and found her to be in “stable health,” according to the court’s statement.

Estrada said she didn’t know which medications Ginsburg took. The sleeping aid was a prescription drug and the cold medicine was an over-the-counter treatment.

Ginsburg has said that she wants to stay on the court for at least another decade. A member of the court’s liberal wing, she supports abortion rights, affirmative action and limits on the death penalty.

Latest Opinion Digests

See all digests

Top stories

See more news