When the Supreme Court convened on Monday after the Christmas hiatus, there was a conspicuously empty chair on the bench. Normally, when the highest court in the land hears arguments on important cases, all nine justices make it a point to be in attendance. But one long-serving member of the Court was not able to attend, leaving the count of justices at eight.
85-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg who has had her share of health problems over the past 20 years, was absent from the bench as she recovers from cancer surgery she underwent last month. Ms. Ginsburg has reportedly been working from home, but doctors urged her to keep her convalescence confined to her own bed for the time being.
Supremely dedicated to her responsibilities as one of the first women to ever sit on the court, Ginsburg has never before missed oral arguments during the 23 years she has been on the bench. That is why today’s development has raised concerns among both supporters and detractors. Everyone is pulling for the lady!
The Daily Caller fills us in on the procedure she underwent just days before Christmas.
“Surgeons at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York removed two cancerous nodules from Ginsburg’s lungs on Dec. 21. She was discharged on Dec. 26.
“The justice’s doctors said the surgery was successful and there are no signs of disease elsewhere in her body. Additional treatment is not currently planned.
“The growths were detected when Ginsburg was hospitalized for a rib fracture in November 2018. On that occasion, the justice fell in her chambers and was admitted to a Washington-area hospital after experiencing discomfort in her chest.”
This is the third bout with cancer for the justice, each one ten years from the previous one. In 1999 she was treated for colon cancer and in 2009 she faced pancreatic cancer.
Doctors are not saying whether this most recent cancer is a primary tumor or metastasis of one of her other cancers. The lungs, it has been reported, are a common location for recurrences from her other cancers.
Even though her absence from the bench might strike fear in some that her diagnosis is worse than we were first told, we should hold off making any kind of judgment in that regard until we hear an official announcement - one way or another.
“It’s not clear when the 85-year-old justice will return to work, though the Supreme Court’s public information office said she will continue to participate in official business from her home in Washington,” the Daily Caller reported on Monday.
The news outlet went on to say, “Despite Ginsburg’s absence, a Court spokeswoman said the justice would participate in Monday’s cases by reading transcripts of the proceedings, then voting as normal.”
Please continue to pray for the healing and return of the plucky justice. We wish her only the best in her recuperation.