Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court’s oldest member and its senior-most liberal, “underwent a coronary catheterization procedure” on Wednesday morning “to place a stent in her right coronary artery,” according to a press release from the Supreme Court. The release explains that a coronary blockage was discovered after she experienced discomfort while exercising, and that the justice is “resting comfortably and is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours.”
Ginsburg, who is 81 years-old, has resisted calls for her to step down while President Obama still occupies the White House. In an interview published last September, she complained that if she were to resign, Obama “could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court.” The impending Republican takeover of the Senate will make it even more difficult for Obama to appoint anyone with a similar record to Ginsburg. Prior to her elevation to the bench, Ginsburg was an historic women’s rights attorney who was involved in many of the seminal Supreme Court cases establishing that official gender discrimination is forbidden by the Constitution.