Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Fractured Ribs Aren't Stopping Her From Getting Work Done
The justice's fans can take a deep breath: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's fractured ribs don't seem to be causing her much alarm. A Reuters report on Friday indicated that she's already started work again — from the hospital bed, no less — and that she's in good spirits.
"The last I heard she was up and working, of course, because what else would she be doing," Daniel Stiepleman, her nephew, told Reuters at the premiere of his film about one of Ginsburg's cases. He also mentioned that Ginsburg was "cracking jokes" — "I can't promise they were good jokes, but they were jokes."
The justice was hospitalized on Thursday after falling down in her office the night before. She originally believed that she hadn't sustained any injuries, but headed to the doctor after feeling discomfort in the night, and tests showed that she'd suffered three fractures to her ribs. The incident is reminiscent of a 2012 fall that left her with two rib fractures. Ginsburg disregarded that injury so much that she didn't even mention it to the public until two months later, per Reuters.
After the news broke on Thursday, joking offers of rib donations flooded social media. But it seems that Ginsburg won't be needing them.
Ginsburg's resilience is unsurprising — it's at the heart of her legendary status. Irin Carmon, co-author of the biography Notorious R.B.G., noted that she's never before missed a day on the bench, and that she still might not, if she's able to recover in time.
Ginsburg, who is 85 years old, has been on the Court for 25 years. Citing Justice John Paul Stevens, who continued until the age of 90, she's said that she wants to continue for at least another five.
The justice's famous toughness didn't prevent people from freaking out after her fall on Thursday. Several late-night comedians devoted parts of their segments to the incident: Stephen Colbert joked that Ginsburg should forgo her black robe for bubble wrap and that she should stop "walking around an office" and instead be "carried down the hallway like a Fabergé egg." He also offered to start a "Rib-Starter" campaign to collect rib donations.
Jimmy Kimmel produced a large plastic bubble on his show that he called the "Ruth Bader Gins-Bubble" and said: "We're sending this to Washington to protect Justice Ginsburg from injuries. ... Even if a strong gust of wind were to blow Justice Ginsburg into a river, she would be able to float and move like a hamster. We are going to have to figure out the bathroom situation."
The Chicago Tribune referenced reports on Thursday that Ginsburg is "eager to get back to work." According to Reuters, the next day the justices are scheduled to be on the bench to hear arguments is Nov. 26, or 17 days from now.
A Supreme Court spokesperson said on Thursday that Ginsburg is staying in the hospital for now because she needs some additional "observation and treatment." The statement added that updates will be provided when possible.