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Bunning Apologizes for Predictions of Justice Ginsburg's Early Demise

Sen. Jim Bunning issued an apology Monday for weekend remarks in which he predicted Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg wouldn't live out the year. 

"I apologize if my comments offended Justice Ginsburg," said Bunning, R-Ky. "That certainly was not my intent. It is great to see her back at the Supreme Court today and I hope she recovers quickly. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family."

The apology came after the Louisville Courier Journal quoted Bunning at a political fundraiser Saturday night. telling about 100 people that Ginsburg had "bad cancer. The kind that you don't get better from." 

"Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live after (being diagnosed) with pancreatic cancer," the paper quoted Bunning saying at a Hardin County Republican gathering .

Ginsburg was back on the bench Monday and appeared in good form just two and a half weeks after cancer surgery and despite Bunning's very pessimistic prognosis. 

Ginsburg and her eight black-robed colleagues entered the courtroom Monday morning and quickly took their seats. Ginsburg, making her first public appearance since the surgery, looked just as she did the last time she and the other justices heard oral arguments a month ago.

On Feb. 5, Ginsburg had surgery in New York for pancreatic cancer. A statement from the court a few days later said doctors found a cancerous tumor less than one centimeter in size. Doctors said they believe that since the tumor was in its earliest stage of formation that a full recovery is possible.

Ginsburg walked in to the court on Monday in between Justices David Souter and Samuel Alito and carried a big smile on her face. As regular court watchers have come to expect, Ginsburg jumped into the questioning early on asking a pointed question to the government lawyer defending its land rights position against the Navajo Indians.

Bunning, a two-term senator, is up for re-election next year. Ginsburg, 75, was appointed to the Court by President Clinton in 1993.

FOX News' Lee Ross contributed to this report.