Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a “minimally invasive non-surgical procedure” to revise a bile duct stent and is “resting comfortably”, the supreme court said on Wednesday.
“According to her doctors, stent revisions are common occurrences and the procedure, performed using endoscopy and medical imaging guidance, was done to minimize the risk of future infections,” the court said in a statement. The court added Ginsburg is expected to be released from the hospital by the end of the week.
Wednesday’s procedure was Ginsburg’s second hospital stay this month. Ginsburg, 87, recently revealed that her cancer had returned and she will remain on the court while undergoing chemotherapy. “I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam,” she wrote in a statement earlier this month. “I remain fully able to do that.”
The health of supreme court justices is closely watched by Americans on both sides of the political spectrum. Because the justices serve for life – or until they choose to retire – the illness or death of any one of them could result in significant shifts in how the nation’s highest court rules on key issues including reproductive rights and immigration.
Ginsburg is one of four liberal justices on the supreme court. A vacancy on the court could dramatically reshape the 2020 elections, with the Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, saying he will fill any vacant supreme court seat this year despite arguing in 2016 that the vacancy left by the death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia should not be filled during a presidential election year.
In June, Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized after a fall.