Supreme Court gives no indication when Ruth Bader Ginsburg might return
The Supreme Court has given no indication when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might return to the bench, as she missed her third straight day of oral arguments on Wednesday while recuperating from cancer surgery.
Her absences this week from oral arguments were her first since joining the court in 1993, stirring speculation about her recovery.
Chief Justice John Roberts announced from the bench that Ginsburg is continuing to participate from home. This is not unprecedented, as the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist also participated and even authored several opinions while undergoing cancer treatment from 2004-2005.
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But all eyes will be on the court when public sessions resume Monday for indications of Ginsburg’s status. A court spokesperson said there has yet to be a date decided for when she will return to the bench.
The 85-year-old justice underwent lung surgery in New York City last month to remove cancerous growths, and is continuing to recuperate.
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The discovery came incidentally during tests after she fractured several ribs during a fall in November.
A court statement said both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant, but scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. No further treatment was planned.
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Ginsburg has dealt with a series of health concerns in recent years. She broke two ribs in 2012, and previously battled two bouts of cancer, in 1999 and 2009. She also had a stent implanted in her heart to open a blocked artery in 2014.
The Columbia Law School-educated justice was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 to replace retiring Justice Byron R. White. Ginsburg was Clinton’s first Supreme Court pick.
Prior to ascending to the Supreme Court, Ginsburg became the first woman to receive tenure at Columbia University Law School and is also the co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project.
Ginsburg is the oldest member on the Supreme Court, and her retirement has been a topic of great speculation. However, she reportedly hired clerks for the term that extends into 2020, indicating she has no plans to leave soon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.