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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized for possible infection

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore early Tuesday to receive treatment for a possible infection and will remain for a few days, according to the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg, 87, is the court’s oldest member, and her health has been a recurring public topic and source of speculation and concern.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the court said Ginsburg had been experiencing fever and chills on Monday, so she was initially taken to Sibley Memorial Hospital in the District that night.

On Tuesday afternoon, she was given an endoscopic procedure ‘'to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August,‘' the court said.

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Ginsburg will stay in the hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics, the court said, adding that she was ‘'resting comfortably.‘'

She was taken to Johns Hopkins in May for a nonsurgical treatment of a benign gall bladder condition and, last year, also treated there following chills and a fever. Before that, she was treated four times for cancer, including last year, and declared herself cancer free earlier this year following treatment for pancreatic cancer last summer.

Given both her tenure on the court and periodic health issues, Ginsburg’s status on the court has repeatedly led to questions about who may eventually replace her. The high court is also a significant issue in this year’s presidential election. A third pick by President Trump could cement the court’s conservative majority, while a selection by former vice president Joe Biden would fortify the court’s liberal minority.

Ginsburg, who was chosen for the court by former president Bill Clinton, leads the court’s liberal wing. Early Tuesday morning, the hospitalized justice joined a pair of dissents in a death-penalty case that saw the court’s conservative majority allow a federal execution to proceed.

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