US: Pro-gay Supreme Court justice undergoes heart surgery

The most pro-gay member of the Supreme Court has been discharged from hospital, after undergoing heart surgery.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81, is regarded as the most staunchly pro-gay member of the court – and has performed a number of same-sex weddings herself.

Justice Ginsburg was rushed to hospital on Tuesday with a blockage in her right coronary artery.

The Justice underwent surgery to insert a stent, and was discharged yesterday. She is expected to return to work on Monday.

Justice Ginsburg’s vote is likely to be crucial in any upcoming same-sex marriage ban case, with most analysts projecting a 5-4 split between the nine justices in favour of equality.

As the Republicans are set to regain control of the House of Representatives in January, it is unlikely that any replacement for Justice Ginsburg would be liberal, if she decides to step down over health concerns.

However, the 81-year-old has previously made clear that she does not intend to go anywhere for the time being.

She said last month: “Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have?

“If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court.

“So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided.

“As long as I can do the job full steam… I think I’ll recognize when the time comes that I can’t any longer. But now I can.”