Ruth Bader Ginsburg Absent for State of the Union

The Associated Press
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not attend President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

Justice Ginsburg did not attend the president’s address to Congress on Tuesday. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh attended the event instead. Typically, many, but not all, Supreme Court justices attend the speech.

Ginsburg had surgery in New York in December to remove two cancerous nodules from her lungs. The justice missed arguments in January, which served as her first illness-related absence in more than 25 years as a member of the Supreme Court.

Doctors reportedly found no further evidence of remaining cancerous growths after her surgery in Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York, New York in December.

Ginsburg previouly had two bouts with cancer. The Supreme Court justice had colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009.

After the justice received treatment for her cancerous nodules, President Trump told reporters that he wished her good health.

Media publications have speculated for months whether Ginsburg will retire given her poor health and absence from Supreme Court arguments.

Politico suggested in January that the White House was quietly preparing to find a replacement for the justice. Breitbart News Legal Editor Ken Klukowski rebuked the rumors that Ginsburg will soon leave the Supreme Court and that the White House was looking for a potential replacement to Ginsburg.

President Bill Clinton appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993, and she previously dismissed calls to step down during President Barack Obama’s second term in office, noting that a replacement might face a smoother process under a possible Democrat-controlled Senate.

Ginsburg has served at the liberal side bench of the Supreme Court and has previously signaled her wish to serve on the Supreme Court through 2020 by hiring clerks for at least two more terms.

“I said I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam,” Ginsburg said in a December interview after the screening of On the Basis of Sex, a biopic about the justice’s life.


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