US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has fractured three ribs after a fall on Wednesday, the court says.
The fall happened in her office at the Supreme Court in Washington.
Ginsburg, 85, went home but was in discomfort and went to George Washington University hospital on Thursday morning, a statement said.
Tests showed that she had fractured three ribs on her left side and she has been admitted for observation and treatment.
It means Ginsburg – the most senior justice on the court’s liberal wing – will not be present for Thursday’s investiture of Brett Kavanaugh, whose appointment led to protests following false allegations of sexual misconduct.advertisement - story continues below
The 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 Mr Kavanaugh and described the claims against him as a “hoax”, is due to attend his investiture.
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.
Some of her 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.advertisement - story continues below
Because of her age, Ginsburg is closely watched for any signs that her health might be in decline. She has previously survived cancer and in 2012 cracked two ribs in a fall at her home.
This incident may mean that President Trump will soon be nominating the next supreme court justice, a move that will have Democrats up in arms.