Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Speaks From Hospital During Hearing

May 6, 2020 Updated: May 6, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke during a hearing on Wednesday from a hospital, where she was taken after suffering an infection caused by a gallstone.

Ginsburg, 87, was at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, the court said late Tuesday.

“The Justice is resting comfortably and plans to participate in the oral argument teleconference tomorrow morning remotely from the hospital,” it said in a statement.

The court on May 6 was hearing a dispute over Trump administration rules that let religious groups cite objections on moral or religious grounds to providing free birth control to women.

Ginsburg took aim at the administration.

“The glaring feature of what the government has done in expanding this exemption is to toss to the wind entirely Congress’s instruction that women need and should have seamless, no-cost comprehensive coverage,” Ginsburg said.

Epoch Times Photo
Solicitor General nominee Noel Francisco speaks during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on May 10, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The justice said women are forced to search for other government programs that might cover them. For those who can’t get coverage from any programs, they must pay out of their own pocket, which is “exactly what Congress didn’t want to happen,” Ginsburg asserted.

She spoke for about three minutes.

Noel Francisco, the administration’s solicitor general, said that nothing in the Affordable Care Act required contraceptive coverage to be provided by all groups. Some organizations were allowed to not provide it, he said.

Ginsburg interrupted Francisco to challenge his views, prompting a strong response from him. She briefly spoke again later during the arguments.

The Supreme Court is broadcasting arguments via online audio live stream, a first in the nation’s history, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions are being held remotely via telephone.

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