Recovery of Ruth Bader Ginsburg 'on track' but she will miss more US high court arguments

Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court in Washington in November 2018
Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court in Washington in November 2018PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who missed three days of oral arguments this week, will miss another three days next week but her recovery from lung cancer surgery is "on track," a court spokeswoman said on Friday (Jan 11).

Ginsburg, 85, will continue to work from home and participate in all the cases she has missed, spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement.

"Her recovery from surgery is on track. Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required," Arberg added.

After next week's three cases, the court is due to take a break until the middle of February.

The justices will next be on the bench on Feb 19, when they are due to hear a contentious case arising from President Donald Trump's administration's decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.

Ginsburg, who joined the court in 1993, underwent a surgical procedure called a pulmonary lobectomy on Dec 21 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York to remove two cancerous nodules in her left lung.

She was released from the hospital on Dec 25.


Monday was the first time Ginsburg, the oldest member of the nine-justice court, has missed oral arguments as a result of her various health scares, including two previous cancer diagnoses.

Ginsburg broke three ribs in a fall in November, which led to doctors' discovery of the lung nodules.

If Ginsburg, one of the court's four liberal members, were unable to continue serving, Trump could replace her with a conservative, further shifting the court to the right.

Trump has added two justices since becoming president in January 2017, cementing its 5-4 conservative majority.