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UPDATE: Ginsburg out of hospital

UPDATE Friday a.m.  The Supreme Court issued this statement Friday morning:  “Justice Ginsburg was released from Washington Hospital Center this morning and plans to be at work at the Court this afternoon.”  Further update Friday 4:10 p.m.: Justice Ginsburg returned to work in her chambers in early afternoon, the Court said.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Thursday evening after “feeling ill in her chambers earlier in the day,” the Court announced.  An hour after receiving an injection in response to an iron deficiency, “she felt faint, developed light headedness and fatigue,” the statement added.  She was expected to remain at Washington Hospital Center overnight, Court aides said.

The hospitalization, according to Public Information Officer Kathleen L. Arberg, was “a precaution for evaluation.”  After being treated following the episode, “she was found to be in stable health.”

Justice Ginsburg’s common practice, when she has fallen ill on other occasions, has been to provide a good deal more medical detail than is routine for other Justices in similar circumstances.  Thursday’s statement followed the same pattern, indicating that it was composed largely at her direction, supplying much detail at least in part to try to head off speculation that the condition was more serious than she considered it to be.  Others close to the situation indicated that the Justice herself was reluctant to go to the hospital, but agreed to do so, and was sending out word that she was doing well.

 Ms. Arberg’s statement said that “the Justice underwent a comprehensive assessment of health in July 2009.  This involved medical evaluation, imaging scans, and comprehensive blood tests.  The result of this evaluation was that she was in completely normal health with the exception of a low red blood cell count caused by deficiency of iron.”

Her response to the injection, a “slightly low blood pressure,” can occur following such a procedure, the statement added.

Justice Ginsburg’s 76th birthday was in March.  She is the Court’s second oldest member.  Justice John Paul Stevens was 89 in April.