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Justice Ginsburg Plans Speedy Return to Court

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg plans to be back at work for the court's next public session, less than three weeks after surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg intends to be in court when the justices hear arguments on Feb. 23, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Friday.

The 75-year-old justice is currently recuperating at a New York hospital after undergoing surgery on Thursday. Arberg had no other information on Ginsburg's condition.

Ginsburg has been on the court more than 15 years and is its only woman.

Her illness raises the possibility that one of the ideologically divided court's leading liberals might have to curtail her work or even step down before she had planned. Pancreatic cancer is often deadly.

The diminutive justice underwent surgery for colon cancer in 1999, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, without missing a day on the bench.

Looking back on her first fight with what she called "a dreadful disease," Ginsburg said her treatment was arduous. But having a job to turn to was a great benefit.

"Work, I found, was the best balm," Ginsburg said in 2001.

Chemotherapy and radiation also are common following pancreatic surgery.