Justice Ginsburg Back at Work: Must Have More Than Nine Lives

You can’t keep a determined woman down.

At 86, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has earned the right to take it easy, but she refuses to let go of her busy schedule and heavy workload. Even after bouts with cancer and illness, she keeps coming back for more.

She made a public appearance at the court on Monday after missing a day of oral arguments last week due to illness.  Ginsburg stepped up unassisted to the bench for a brief court session on Monday, sipped from a silver-colored cup during the session and – as has become normal in recent months – was helped down from the bench by her colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas, after it concluded.

A stomach bug kept her from the bench during last Wednesday’s court session, according to a court spokeswoman. She did participate in the justices’ private meeting on Friday to discuss which new cases to hear.

Ginsburg’s health is closely watched because another Supreme Court vacancy would give President Donald Trump the opportunity to appoint a third justice to the nine-member court and move it further to the right. The court’s 5-4 conservative majority includes two justices named by Trump.

In August, Ginsburg underwent radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer. She had two cancerous nodules in her left lung removed last December, and had previously been treated for pancreatic cancer in 2009 and colon cancer in 1999.

The oldest justice on the court, Ginsburg was appointed in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Her politics and decisions make her divisive, but her work ethic and determination are broadly admirable.

 

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