The hospitalization of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg for rib fractures is a stark reminder of President Trump's power to shape the Supreme Court with the help of an even more conservative Senate led by Republicans.
Ginsburg, 85, fell in his office on Wednesday night, according to a statement from the Supreme Court. After a night of embarrassment, she was admitted to George Washington University Hospital, where tests revealed a three-rib fracture on the left side.
Although nothing indicates that Ginsburg's injury was serious enough to make her consider retiring – she lined the clerks until the 2020 deadline – this pointed out that the most liberal members of the court were getting older and that another bitter confirmation fight could occur before the end of Trump's first term. Judge Stephen G. Breyer turned 80 last summer.
"Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had more than three broken ribs and is functioning at a high level. I hope we hope to be able to count on it for a long time yet, "said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, during an interview. "But the court is subject to sickness or death for the opportunities available to them. And we must be aware and wary of the potential imminence of another openness. "
The question of how long Ginsburg will remain on the ground has been the subject of quiet speculation between leaders of both parties in recent years. The liberal lawyer rejected left-wing calls to step down when President Barack Obama could name his successor. She declared wanting to work until at least 90 years old.
She battled two forms of cancer without missing a day's work from the court and underwent a heart-felt procedure in 2014. This is the third time Ginsburg has broken ribs.
Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor, told reporters on Thursday that Trump and other White House people wanted a full and speedy recovery from Ginsburg. "We pray for her and we know how hard she is," Conway said.
After a polarizing confirmation battle, the Senate last month narrowly confirmed Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, who had denied allegations of sexual misconduct while he was in high school and at the university. . Kavanaugh took over from Anthony M. Kennedy, a decisive, decisive vote on the pitch. A departure from Ginsburg or Breyer would allow Trump to push the ideology of the court even further to the right.
Still under the sign of Kavanaugh's controversial confirmation, the Democrats should face stiffer headwinds regarding the federal judiciary next year. Although the Republicans lost control of the House in Tuesday's mid-term elections, they maintained their majority in the Senate with victories won by Trump's trusted allies.
"It's a mandate to move forward," said Carrie Severino, senior counsel with the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.
The Senate is solely responsible for the appointment of federal judges. The leader of the majority, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Took full advantage during the Trump presidency. In addition to the installation of Mr. Kavanaugh and Judge Neil M. Gorsuch in the High Court, the Senate confirmed 29 appellate judges, the highest number in the first two years of the presidency, and 53 judges of the courts. district.
Starting next year, McConnell and Trump will likely have more leeway after winning places in Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota. They worked with a majority of 51 to 49 during the Kavanaugh fight, leaving them with almost no room for error.
Moderate Senators Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Who voted against Kavanaugh's confirmation, will be replaced by Representative Kevin Cramer (ND) and businessman Mike Braun, strong supporters of Trump who opposed the Kavanaugh democracy and the importance of the confirmation of the judges.
In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill (D), who voted against the two Trump Supreme Court candidates, will be replaced by state Attorney General Josh Hawley (R). Hawley is aggressively attacking the Democratic Resistance at Kavanaugh.
Republicans can win another Florida seat, where the race is still too short to be called. Arizona, which Democrats seek to overthrow, is also too close to be called. The Democrats won a seat held by Republicans in Nevada.
Republicans are favored to take a seat in Mississippi in a second round later this month. If they do, they will guarantee a majority of at least 52 members, regardless of what will happen in other pending contests.
For McConnell, part of the calculations was the Sensual Republican Sense. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), both advocates of the right to abortion. With more conservative Republicans in the Senate and Vice President Pence able to break the equality, the votes of Collins and Murkowski will matter less.
GOP leaders in the Senate and Senate said they believed Kavanaugh's confirmation of a passionate democratic opposition had led their candidates to victory. One expects them to maintain an aggressive pace of filling the courts in the new year.
"You know what my top priority is. I was very clear. It's the judiciary, "McConnell said Wednesday.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) accused Republicans of being determined to endow judges with anti-women judges, health protection and arms control fire. "In the long run, it will hurt them a lot," he said of the GOP.
Senators will return to work next week for the first time since mid-term. Part of their tasks in the coming weeks will be to define the tasks and chairs of the committees. One of the biggest question marks is who will lead the Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for holding hearings on Supreme Court candidates.
The current president, Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), decides he wants to continue leading the group or heading the Finance Committee. He is in second place in finance, under the chairmanship of incumbent Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).
"Sen. Grassley will consult with his colleagues when the Senate returns next week and then announce his decision, "said his spokesman, Michael Zona.
If Grassley opts for finance, Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) Is online to chair the Judiciary Committee. Former Trump critic and presidential rival, Graham has turned into one of the president's most vocal champions on Capitol Hill. He furiously attacked the Democrats during a hearing in which Kavanaugh testified.
The Judiciary Committee will also examine Trump's future candidate to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who resigned Wednesday at the request of the President. Graham and Trump discussed opening Thursday in the Oval Office, the senator said.
Graham also joined Trump on Thursday during Kavanaugh's official inauguration at the Supreme Court.
Robert Barnes and John Wagner contributed to this report.