Justice Ginsburg ‘Up and Working’ After Breaking Ribs, Nephew Says

November 9, 2018 Updated: November 9, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is “up and working” and making jokes after being hospitalized with rib fractures, her nephew said on Nov. 8, at the premiere of a new movie about her early career.

Daniel Stiepleman, who wrote the script for the Ginsburg biopic “On the Basis of Sex,” told Reuters Ginsburg was “doing great.”

“The last I heard she was up and working, of course, because what else would she be doing, and cracking jokes,” he said. “I can’t promise they were good jokes but they were jokes.”

Ginsburg was hospitalized after fracturing several ribs after falling in her office.

The court made the announcement on Nov. 8, saying that the 85-year-old went home after the fall but had “discomfort overnight” and went to George Washington Hospital in the morning, according to a statement.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington DC on March 3, 2006. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

After tests, it was revealed that she was “admitted for observation and treatment,” according to the statement.

“Tests showed that she fractured three ribs on her left side and she was admitted for observation and treatment. Updates will be provided as they become available,” the court statement reads.

Other details about the incident are not clear.

“I’ve known her for many, many years … got to see her just a few weeks ago here at the swearing-in of Justice Kavanaugh,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters about Ginsburg’s hospitalization. She added, “I hope she has a full and speedy recovery.”

Ginsburg is the court’s oldest member and is considered most senior of its liberal minority. She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton as the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

In 2014, she underwent a heart procedure to have a stent placed in her right coronary artery, CNN reported, and in 2009, she was treated for pancreatic cancer. She also had surgery to treat colon cancer in 1999.

Ginsburg said she wants to stay on the bench until 2020.

“I’m now 85,” she told the New York Times. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years.”

The film about Ginsburg’s early career, which is said to have had input from the justice herself, saw its world premiere on the same day she fractured her ribs.

Initial reviews of “On the Basis of Sex,” which is now making its rounds on the film festival circuit, are mixed.

Eric Kohn of Indiewire said the film’s “sunny approach is out of touch with the times,” adding that had it been made 30 years ago, it would be “a cheesy tearjerker with purpose,” but that “the non-fiction treatment is forced into heavy-handed dramaturgy and becomes an antiquated soap opera.”

The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee called the film, which is due for a Christmas Day release in the United States, “a familiarly wrought, intermittently effective drama [that] benefits from retelling a fascinating backstory.”

Reuters and Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

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