Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has fractured three ribs in a fall on November 7, the court says.
The fall happened in her office at the Supreme Court in Washington.
The 85-year-old went home but was in discomfort and went to George Washington University hospital on November 8, a statement said.
Tests showed that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had fractured three ribs on her left side and she has been admitted for observation and treatment.
It meant that the most senior justice on the court’s liberal wing was not present for November 8 investiture of Brett Kavanaugh, whose appointment led to protests following allegations of assault.
Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment, confirmed last month by the Senate, restores the nine-member court’s conservative majority. The court has the final say on issues such as abortion, gun control and voting rules.
President Donald Trump, who nominated Brett Kavanaugh and described the claims against him as a “hoax”, attended his investiture.
On Twitter, many were quick to offer Ruth Bader Ginsburg assistance in the form of extra ribs and human shields to ensure she made it through the Trump presidency.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. She had previously focused her work on women’s rights and started the first law journal dedicated to the topic.
The liberal justice has survived cancer and in 2012 cracked two ribs in a fall at her home.
Some of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legal opinions, coupled with her refusal to step down during the Obama era, have seen her gain popularity in some quarters and earned her the nickname Notorious RBG.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the subject of both a recent documentary, RBG, and a forthcoming feature film, On the Basis of Sex, in which she is played by actress Felicity Jones. The feature film is about a landmark Supreme Court case in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued for fathers’ rights and against gender discrimination.
The FBI report contains summaries of interviews that the bureau has conducted. Nine people were reportedly interviewed, but not Brett Kavanaugh or the woman who first accused him of assault.
The report is in paper format only and no copies will be made. It is being held in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol building, known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or “SKIF”.
Senators have been told not to reveal its contents, but some have already begun to describe its findings.
Senator Bob Corker said the FBI report is 46 pages long.
Democrats have raised concerns the investigation has been too narrow in scope, with key witnesses not interviewed.
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on October 4, the lawyers for the first woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of assault, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, criticized investigators for not speaking with more than a dozen alleged witnesses whose names she provided.
In a statement after reading the FBI report, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, said: “There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know”, and that the FBI “found no hint of misconduct”.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein called it an “incomplete investigation”, adding that “the most notable part of this report is what’s not in it”.
Swing Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona – like other Republicans – said it contained “no additional corroborating information”.
Moderate Republican Susan Collins of Maine, who also has not announced how she will vote, said it “appears very thorough”.
Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Senate committee that Brett Kavanaugh had assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s.
Judge Kavanaugh angrily denied that he had ever assaulted her or anyone else.
Mark Judge, a high school friend of Brett Kavanaugh who Christine Blasey Ford says was in the room at the time of the assault, has said he will co-operate with any law enforcement agency that will “confidentially investigate” the allegations.
He has already denied Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations.
Two others who were allegedly present in the house during the alleged assault, PJ Smyth and Dr. Ford’s friend Leland Ingham Keyser, are willing to co-operate “fully” with the FBI’s investigation, their lawyers said.
A third woman who has also publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh, Julie Swetnick, alleges he was involved in the drugging and assault of girls at house parties in the 1980s.
Hulie Swetnick says she was the victim of a gang rape in 1982 at a party attended by Brett Kavanaugh.
Her lawyer said on Septemeber 29 that they had yet to hear from the FBI.
Announcing the FBI investigation, President Trump said: “I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file.
“As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”
The inquiry involves the FBI reopening its previously completed background check on Brett Kavanaugh. This may mean going back to old witnesses – or speaking to new ones.
Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer said her client welcomed the step but questioned the time limit of a week to hold the investigation.
In a written testimony provided ahead of September 27 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Christine Blasey Ford says: “It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. My responsibility is to tell the truth.”
Christine Blasey Ford alleges Brett Kavanaugh tried to drunkenly remove her clothing, pinned her to a bed and groped her at a party when she was 15 and he was 17.
“Brett’s assault on me drastically altered my life. For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details,” she wrote in her prepared statement.
“I tried to convince myself that because Brett did not rape me, I should be able to move on and just pretend that it had never happened.”
Christine Blasey says Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge locked her in a bedroom during a small gathering at a house in Washington DC suburbs in the summer of 1982.
“Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack,” she said.
Mark Judge has disputed the allegations, saying he does not recall the incident.
“I believed [Brett Kavanaugh] was going to rape me,” Christine Blasey said. The fact that he covered her mouth she says “terrified” her the most, and has had “the most lasting impact”.
“It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me.”
When Mark Judge jumped on the bed, she says “we toppled over and Brett was no longer on top of me.” She was then able to run from the room.
Brett Kavanaugh is also facing other accusations of assault from three women.
However, he denies Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation “immediately, unequivocally, and categorically”.
The judge also released prepared written testimony ahead of the hearing.
Brett Kavanaugh says: “Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have been aired. There has been a frenzy to come up with something – anything, no matter how far-fetched or odious – that will block a vote on my nomination. These are last-minute smears, pure and simple.”
The written testimony suggests Brett Kavanaugh will not try to portray himself as a saint.
He will say: “I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many.”
He will also say that what he has been accused of is “far more serious than juvenile misbehavior”.
The hearing is scheduled to get under way at 10:00 local time and could last five hours.
There will be opening statements from the leading Republican and Democrat members.
Christine Blasey Ford will deliver her opening statement first.
The 21 senators on the committee will then have five minutes each to pose questions, but while the 10 Democrats are expected to ask questions themselves, it is believed a special counsel will act on behalf of the Republicans.
Christine Blasey Ford will then leave the room and Brett Kavanaugh will enter. She had earlier asked not to be in the same room as the judge.
Brett Kavanaugh will deliver his statement and the same round of questioning will follow.
President Donald Trump has portrayed the events in political terms, accusing the Democrats of trying to block the nomination.
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