Ginsburg to miss next week's Supreme Court sessions, but recovery 'on track'
White House preparing for possible departure of ailing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reports say
After the 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice misses oral argument while recovering from cancer surgery, speculation grows that the Trump administration is preparing for a retirement and new confirmation battle.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will miss next week’s court sessions and work from home, but her recovery from early-stage lung cancer surgery remains "on track" and no further treatment is needed, the court announced Friday.
“Justice Ginsburg will continue to work from home next week and will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts of oral arguments. Her recovery from surgery is on track,” Supreme Court public information officer Kathy Arberg said in a statement.
“Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required,” she said.
The 85-year-old’s absence this week from oral arguments -- her first since joining the bench -- after her surgery in December sparked speculation about a possible departure, and even led to low-key planning by the White House for that scenario.
Sources confirmed to Fox News that the White House has quietly reached out to a small number of GOP lawmakers and conservative legal advocates, reassuring them it would be ready for any court vacancy.
The court has not yet offered a timetable on Ginsburg’s return. Oral arguments resume next week, before the court goes on a month-long recess.
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.
But should she not return for the Feb. 19 public sessions, there will likely be renewed concern for the liberal justice’s future.
Ginsburg's health troubles have been met by significant concern from liberals, who recognize that if she retires and Trump picks a conservative to replace her, it would mark a significant generational shift to the right for the court.
But Ginsburg has overcome health scares before. In the last two decades, she has undergone treatment for both colon and pancreatic cancer -- returning to work within days and never missing a public session until now.