US Supreme Court justice Ginsburg hospitalized for gallbladder infection

©Agence France-Presse

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was

Washington (AFP) - US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the four liberal justices on the top US court, was hospitalized for a benign gallbladder infection, the court said Tuesday.

Ginsbug was treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after a gallstone migrated to her cystic duct, blocking it and causing an infection.

Ginsburg will spend a day or two in hospital to recover from the non-surgical procedure, the court said.

"The Justice is resting comfortably and plans to participate in the oral argument teleconference tomorrow morning remotely from the hospital," the statement continued. 

Ginsburg was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. A hugely popular liberal stalwart and an unintentional social media icon, she is fondly known as "The Notorious RBG," a riff on slain rapper The Notorious B.I.G.

The 87-year-old jurist has already been had several health scares -- she was hospitalized for chills and fever in 2019, and earlier that year she completed a course of outpatient radiation therapy for a localized malignant tumor on her pancreas.

Ginsburg was treated for colon cancer in 1999, and a decade later, pancreatic cancer that was caught at an early stage. In December 2018, she had two nodules removed from her lung.

Her recent repeated health scares have sparked speculation about potential retirement, which would allow conservative US President Donald Trump to nominate a replacement. 

US Supreme Court justices are appointed for life. Ginsburg has repeatedly said she will only retire when she feels incapable of handling the workload.