WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was
hospitalized Thursday after becoming ill in her office at the court
following treatment for an iron deficiency.
The 76-year-old justice, who underwent surgery for pancreatic
cancer in February, was taken to Washington Hospital Center at 7:45
p.m. EDT as a precaution, a statement from the court said.
Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said late Thursday it had not yet
been determined whether the justice would remain in the hospital
Earlier in the day, Ginsburg had received an iron sucrose
infusion to treat an iron deficiency anemia that had been
discovered in July.
About an hour later, she "developed lightheadedness and
fatigue," the statement said. She was found to have a slightly low
blood pressure, which the court said can occur after the type of
treatment she received.
Although an examination found her to be in stable health, she
was given fluids and taken to the hospital as a precaution, the
The July evaluation found "that she was in completely normal
health with the exception of a low red blood cell count caused by
deficiency of iron. Intravenous iron therapy was administered in a
standard fashion," the court statement said.
Doctors on Feb. 5 removed a small, malignant growth from
Ginsburg's pancreas. Doctors found no spread of it elsewhere, the
court said at the time. Her spleen also was removed.
She returned to work quickly and hasn't missed a day of work
since. In March she said the operation had been "a complete,
successful, surgical removal" of the cancer. However, she also
said she was to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
A common side effect of chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer is
Two months after her surgery, Ginsburg told law students at a
symposium at Ohio State University that serving on the Supreme
Court was "the best and the hardest job I've ever had." She said
at the time that she wanted to match the tenure of Justice Louis
Brandeis, who served for more than two decades and retired at age
Ginsburg spent part of this past summer the way she usually
does, teaching in Europe. This year's class was in Rome.
After the retirement in January 2006 of Justice Sandra Day
O'Connor, Ginsburg was the only woman on the nine-member court
until Sonia Sotomayor joined the court last August.
Nominated by President Bill Clinton, Ginsburg took her seat on
the Supreme Court on Aug. 10, 1993. She had been a judge on the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since
AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)