By Lydia Wheeler, The Hill
Some offered to donate their ribs, others recommended cloaking her in bubble wrap.
The reactions following news that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had fractured three ribs in a fall at her office on Nov. 7 may have been made in jest, but some no doubt were rooted in real worry.
At 85, Ginsburg is the oldest member of the Supreme Court, and this month’s health scare left many wondering if she’ll really serve for five more years as promised.
But she’s not the only one in recovery mode.
Washington is slowly recuperating from the bitter battle over Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Another vacancy on the bench would surely lead to an explosive fight with liberals trying in vain to prevent President Trump from turning the court into a conservative stronghold with a third nominee.
The repercussions of Trump appointees are why some on the left have criticized Ginsburg and 80-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer – another aging member of the court’s liberal wing – for not stepping down when former President Obama was in office.
“Given that she wants her vision of the law to prevail, it was a mistake to hang in there indefinitely,” said Daniel Epps, an associate professor of law at the Washington University School of Law. “If she stays for five more years from now, that’s 2023. Even if there’s a Democratic president elected in 2020, it’s quite possible that Republicans might control the Senate in 2023.”
Epps said that for now, the future of the court is riding on Ginsburg’s health.
“We shouldn’t be in this position where the future of certain policies turn on whether this old woman is healthy or not,” he said.
Ginsburg initially went home after she fell in her office, but after feeling discomfort during the night she called Supreme Court police to take her to the hospital.
Her injury caused her to miss a day of court, but not one when the justices heard oral arguments.
Supporters say Ginsburg isn’t just the court’s leading liberal, she’s also incredibly resilient.
The justice’s personal trainer, Bryant Johnson, told The Hill on Monday that Ginsburg would be resuming her notoriously challenging workouts this week. Johnson said he would adjust Ginsburg’s routine, which includes pushups and planks, to help with her recovery.
“I always use the acronym TAN – tough as nails,” he said when asked to describe her. “As a matter of fact, I really have to kind of make her rest a little.”
After all, ribs heal -- a process Ginsburg knows all too well.
She cracked two ribs in 2012 but didn’t miss a day in court, according to The Washington Post. Ginsburg has also survived two bouts of cancer.
“I think she has shown she is close to immortal,” said Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society. “She has gone through a lot and she always comes back fighting.”
Read the full story on The Hill's website.