Hospitalized Ginsburg speaks in SCOTUS phone argument

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participated in telephone arguments from a Maryland hospital where she’s being treated for an infection caused by a gallstone.

The court said Tuesday evening that the 87-year-old justice had undergone non-surgical treatment for a benign gallbladder condition.

Ginsburg’s first question was a lengthy one, essentially saying the Trump administration tossed “to the wind” the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that women have seamless access to no-cost contraceptives.

The court says Ginsburg is expected to be in the hospital for a day or two. It has said some justices are participating in arguments from home while others are at the court.

Before the justices is a case that involves the Affordable Care Act’s requirement most insurers cover contraceptives for women. The case stems from Trump administration rules that would allow more employers who cite a religious or moral objection to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women.

The second argument is a free speech case involving a law aimed at protecting consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls.

Wednesday marked the third day of the court’s unprecedented livestreaming of live audio during oral arguments, which may be heard online here.

This is the last day for arguments this week. The justices have three more days and six cases remaining next week, including arguments over whether President Donald Trump must release tax returns and other financial documents.

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