After nearly a two-month hiatus while recovering from lung cancer surgery, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the Supreme Court on Friday to participate in several meetings.
Fox News reports that a court spokesperson said Ginsburg was working in her chambers on Friday and “will participate in the in-person closed-door conference Friday morning.”
The 85-year-old Ginsburg missed oral arguments on the bench for the first time since being appointed by President Clinton just a little over 25 years ago. In late December of last year, Justice Ginsburg underwent surgery for lung cancer. The Supreme Court said at the time she underwent a “pulmonary lobectomy” resulting in the removal of two malignant nodules.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a pulmonary lobectomy today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City,” read the statement. “Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in a fall on November 7. Both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation.”
Several weeks later, the court announced that Ginsburg was on track to a full recovery and that doctors said she had no further signs of cancer.
Fearing that Justice Ginsburg’s days on the Supreme Court may be numbered in the era of President Trump, reactions from her supporters ranged from cultishness to sheer panic. Over at Politico, columnist Roger Simon said that he would actually sacrifice precious days of his own life to prolong Ginsburg’s.
Simon said on Twitter: “If it were possible, would you subtract one day off your life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health? If just 10,000 people did this, it would add 27 productive years to her life.”
On Thursday, Hollywood celebrities from Steven Spielberg to Lady Gaga to Bradley Cooper all united to sign a “get well soon” card for the ailing Ginsburg.
“Steven Spielberg, Lady Gaga, Spike Lee and Glenn Close have a message for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Get well soon,” says The Hollywood Reporter. “The card was spearheaded by RBG filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West, who toted it along with them to starry awards-season events over the past few weeks, including the DGA and PGA Awards, the Oscar nominees luncheon, the BAFTAs and the Critics’ Choice Awards.”
During her recovery, the Trump administration reportedly had on hand a short list of potential nominees to replace her if she were to retire, which she previously said would happen if she were unable to continue “full-steam.”
“As long as I can do the job full steam, and that, at my age, is not predictable,” Ginsburg told The New York Times in 2013.
Her statement to the Times was prior to the GOP taking control of the Senate during the Obama years. Had she retired then, the Democrats would have easily secured for themselves another reliable liberal on the court.
Ginsburg later echoed her “full steam” declaration to NPR a full three years later when she said that she would “retire when it’s time. And when is it time? When I can’t do the job full steam.”