Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was conspicuously absent from on Wednesday morning and missed oral arguments due to what the chief justice called only “an illness.”
“Justice Ginsburg is unable to be present today. She is indisposed due to illness, but she will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts or recordings of the oral arguments,” Chief Justice John Roberts said from the bench according to Fox News.
The publication reported that the 86-year-old justice was suffering from a stomach bug and while she wasn’t able to question the attorneys in Wednesday’s cases, (Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, et al., and Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC.) she will still help decide the cases
Ginsburg has been in the headlines in recent months after suffering from yet another bout with cancer, which she received treatment for over the summer.
Ginsburg set the record straight after news of her cancer broke, saying that she is feeling “very good” just days after the public became aware of her most recent cancer treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas broke in late August.
According to a report in The Hill, Ginsburg was answering a question from NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg about keeping her scheduled appearance at the event in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Clinton Foundation event.
“I had promised the Clinton Library that I would be here, and I was just not going to — and I am pleased to say that I am feeling very good tonight,” she said, which solicited a standing ovation from the crowd.
Ginsburg added that her work has helped to distract her from her growing health issues:
“I think my work is what saved me because instead of dwelling on my physical discomforts, if I have an opinion to write or I have a brief to read I know I’ve just got to get it done, and so I have to get over it,” she said Tuesday.
According to the outlet’s report, the treatment was an outpatient course administered at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, according to the U.S. Supreme Court disclosure on Friday.
“The radiation therapy, conducted on an outpatient basis, began Aug. 5, shortly after a localized cancerous tumor was discovered on Ginsburg’s pancreas,” NPR reported. “The treatment included the insertion of a stent in Ginsburg’s bile duct, according to a statement issued by the court.”
The doctors at Sloan Kettering have reportedly assured the high court justice that there is no evidence that the disease has taken up residence in any other part of the body, despite this treatment coming just months after her treatment for lung cancer in December.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today completed a three-week course of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City,” a statement from the Supreme Court read. “The focused radiation treatment began on August 5 and was administered on an outpatient basis to treat a tumor on her pancreas. The abnormality was first detected after a routine blood test in early July, and a biopsy performed on July 31 at Sloan Kettering confirmed a localized malignant tumor.
Press release on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
"The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body." pic.twitter.com/1XoZJFtFcd
— AnnaMaria Di Pietro (@AnnaMariaDP) August 23, 2019
The Supreme Court is slated to begin its upcoming term on the first Monday of October, but it’s common for the justices to begin work in September.
According to NPR, the eldest Supreme Court justice was interviewed by one of their journalists, and joked about some of her haters who thought she was on her way out:
“There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months,” Ginsburg said according to NPR. “That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I,” she added with a smile, “am very much alive.”
Written by Savannah Pointer.