Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be absent from the bench again this week, and President Donald Trump is getting ready.
Kathy Arberg, the Supreme Court’s spokeswoman, said Ginsburg will miss this entire week and work from home while she recovers from surgery.
The 85-year-old Justice is recovering from surgery to remove two cancerous growths from her left lung, forcing her to miss a second straight week of oral arguments.
“Her recovery from surgery is on track,” Arberg said. “Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required.”
With Ginsburg apparently unable to leave her home, the White House has been making “gingerly preparations” in case Ginsburg retires.
According to two sources familiar with the process, the White House is well aware of the medical issues involved with Ginsburg, who is 85-years-old.
Last Monday, Ginsburg missed oral arguments at the Supreme Court for the first time in her 25 years for reasons involving her health.
There’s strong uncertainty looming as to when she will return or if she will be able to return at all.
“Gingerly preparations are underway, not just for Ginsburg but for any SCOTUS retirement,” a source involved in the Supreme Court nominations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh said last week.
A second source revealed that preparations are being made given Ginsburg’s age and health issues, adding that the White House wants to be prepared in the case that the 85-year-old Justice retires.
The sources emphasized that the White House successfully nominated two conservative candidates who were confirmed by the Senate and that they have a strong understanding of how the process works.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone now oversees Supreme Court nominations given Don McGahn stepped down soon after Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court.
“By appointing Pat, Trump made sure he has a White House counsel who is both able to handle the investigation and a movement conservative philosophically aligned with the base of the party,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said last week.
While Trump, the White House, and many have wished nothing but the best for Ginsburg, many argue that her health issues may have gotten worse.
Ginsburg had two earlier cancer surgeries in 1999 and 2009, but they did not cause her to miss court sessions.
She also suffered broken ribs on at least two different occasions, neither of which kept her from being absent from sessions on the Supreme Court.
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.
If she does retire while Trump is still in office, the president would have the historic opportunity to nominate a third Justice to the Supreme Court, which currently has a 5-4 conservative bent.