- - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SUPREME COURT

Justice Ginsburg slides to safety off airplane

Supreme CourtJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was forced to slide down an emergency chute to evacuate a flight at Washington Dulles International Airport on Wednesday, a court spokeswoman said.

Justice Ginsburg was on her way from Washington to San Francisco and was not injured, Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe Estrada said.

A pilot noticed a problem with the engine on the United Airlines Flight 586 and ordered 179 passengers and six crew members to exit, airport spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs said.

United spokesman Mike Trevino said one person was injured but he didn’t have other details.

Justice Ginsburg, at 78 the high court’s oldest justice, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009.

She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and was hospitalized on two other occasions last year but is maintaining an active travel schedule that is taking her across the country at least twice this summer.

SENATE

Partial shutdown possible once again for FAA

A procedural snarl and a single senator’s objections could force another partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said Wednesday that Senate rules don’t allow lawmakers to drop their current consideration of a disaster aid bill and shift to a stopgap funding measure for FAA and highway programs without the consent of all lawmakers.

But Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, is refusing to give his consent. Mr. Coburn wants to change the stopgap bill that passed the House on Tuesday by eliminating highway program spending on bike paths, beautification projects and other so-called transportation enhancements.

Republicans say the Senate could have passed the transportation bill in time if Mr. Reid hadn’t brought up the disaster bill first.

An FAA shutdown could occur at midnight Friday.

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