Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent from oral arguments on the nation’s highest court this week for her first time in her 25 year career.
The 85-year-old Justice is recovering from surgery to remove two cancerous growths from her left lung, which prohibited her from being on the bench to hear arguments on Monday.
There’s strong uncertainty looming as to when she will return, if she returns at all.
Could Ginsburg’s career be winding down? It seems certainly possible, despite her wish to work for at least another five years.
If Ginsburg is unable to return to work, then President Trump might be able to appoint another Supreme Court Justice.
If that happens, there’s a very good chance that no matter who he decides upon faces scrutiny, protests, and harsh treatment from Democratic Party who is likely to oppose anyone Trump selects.
A court spokeswoman named Kathy Arberg stated that Ginsburg is working from home.
The AP reported that “Chief Justice John Roberts said in the courtroom Monday that Ginsburg would participate in deciding the argued cases “on the basis of the briefs and transcripts of oral arguments.”
Ginsburg had two earlier cancer surgeries in 1999 and 2009 that did not cause her to miss court sessions. She also has broken ribs on at least two occasions.
The court said doctors found the growths on Ginsburg’s lung when she was being treated for fractured ribs she suffered in a fall at her office on Nov. 7.
After past health scares, Ginsburg has come back to work relatively quickly. In 2009, she was at the court for arguments on Feb. 23, 18 days after surgery for pancreatic cancer.
Weeks after her fall in November, Ginsburg was asking questions at high court arguments, speaking at a naturalization ceremony for new citizens and being interviewed at screenings of the new movie about her, “On the Basis of Sex.”
Ginsburg was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1993. She hired clerks to work for her until 2020.
President Donald Trump had wished her well upon her release from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Her departure from the Supreme Court would mark a significant swing in power in the Supreme Court provided that President Trump selects a Republican replacement.