Ginsburg to miss next week's Supreme Court sessions, but recovery 'on track'

Blanche Robertson
January 11, 2019

Ginsburg is now working from home while recovering from lung surgery late previous year.

Ginsburg, 85, had surgery in Manhattan on December 21 to remove two cancerous nodules from her left lung and was released on Christmas Day.

Ginsburg missed the court's oral arguments for three consecutive days this week, participating in cases using transcripts - a first in the justice's 25-year tenure on the bench.

A source familiar with the conversations confirms to CNN that the White House legal counsel has been in communication with outside allies and conservative groups about next steps if something should happen to Ginsburg.

Although Republicans netted three Senate pickups in the recent midterm election, giving them a 54-vote majority, the fact that Ginsburg's successor would likely be her ideological opposite-effectively picking up a seat-hearkens back, once again, to the last big confirmation battle of the pre-Trump era.

Two doctors contacted by Fox News with experience in performing pulmonary lobectomies said, given her age and procedure, a home recovery of about six-to-eight weeks is common - and they would expect the justice to be ready to resume normal duties next month. On Friday afternoon, Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes tweeted that the Supreme Court announced Ginsburg has no remaining signs of cancer and will need no additional treatment.

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Trump picks Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were both confirmed to the Supreme Court, although not without controversy.

The White House "is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process", a source told Politico anonymously.

President Trump has wished Ginsburg a speedy recovery.

Politico said numerous prospective nominees to replace Ginsburg were women, which theoretically would derail the likelihood of sexual-assault claims such as those faced by Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh. When commenting on her former fellow Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens serving on the court until he was 90 years old, Ginsburg said, "H$3 e stepped down when he was 90, so I think I have about at least five more years".

She said something very inappropriate during the campaign, but she apologized for it, ' he the president said in November.

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