Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes first public appearance since undergoing cancer surgery
The 85-year-old Justice has not made a public appearance since December 21st.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the bench on Tuesday, eight weeks after undergoing surgery for lung cancer.
The 85-year-old, who underwent surgery in December, arrived with her eight colleagues promptly at 10 a.m., walking unassisted to her seat to hear oral arguments.
She smiled slightly and looked about the crowded courtroom, wearing her traditional black robe and lace collar.
The justice went on to ask a total of five questions to counsel on both sides of a patent law dispute, including the very first question. The questions were technical in nature. Her voice was strong, laced with her familiar Brooklyn accent.
Ginsburg had last appeared in a public session in early December, shortly before the surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her left lung. No remaining signs of cancer were discovered.
After working from home during that period, she returned to the court building for the first time Friday, to participate in person at the justices’ private conference. She told TMZ that she’s “just fine” as she walked through Reagan National Airport in Virginia.
Ginsburg, considered the most liberal justice on the court, is closely watched by court observers for any potential signs that she may retire. Should President Trump pick a conservative replacement, it would mark a significant rightward swing for the already conservative-leaning court. However, Ginsburg reportedly hired clerks for the term that extends into 2020, indicating she has no plans to retire immediately.
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 Harvard 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.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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