Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg addressed critics who say she should have retired during one of former President Obama’s two terms, asking: “Who do you think the president could nominate that could get through the Republican Senate, who you would prefer on the court than me?”
Ginsburg, who has faced a number of medical battles in recent years, appeared at an event in New York City Wednesday with NPR’s Nina Totenberg and addressed the critics who say she should have taken the opportunity to retire when Obama was in office and in a position to appoint a progressive judge in her place.
“When that suggestion is made, I ask the question: Who do you think the president could nominate that could get through the Republican Senate, who you would prefer on the court than me?” Ginsburg said, according to CNBC.
The 86-year-old Supreme Court justice was recently treated for pancreatic cancer, which was discovered during a blood test in July. Ginsburg underwent radiation therapy at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City last month:
JUST IN: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent 3 weeks of radiation treatment this summer after the discovery a cancerous tumor on her pancreas. Full statement below (h/t @JanCBS) pic.twitter.com/t7kDQghHVZ
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) August 23, 2019
Doctors said at the time the rest of her body is cancer-free, and the justice told a crowd at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. she is on her way to being “very well”:
"This audience can see I am alive. And I am on my way to being very well."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival. pic.twitter.com/Q98rfpFnaO
— The Hill (@thehill) August 31, 2019
That has not been Ginsburg’s only health battle.
As Breitbart News reported:
Ginsburg, the liberal face of the Supreme Court, has fought cancer on and off for roughly two decades. She underwent a procedure to remove malignant nodules from her left lung on December 21st of last year. The cancerous growths were discovered while receiving treatment for a fall in her office. Ginsburg missed the court’s oral arguments for several days in February, participating in cases using transcripts — a first in the justice’s 25-year tenure on the bench.
Ginsburg has experienced several health issues in recent years. The justice underwent cancer surgeries in 1999 and 2009 and broke her ribs in at least two separate occasions. In 2014, Ginsburg had a stent inserted into her heart.
Despite her health issues, Ginsburg signaled no signs of retiring, telling Totenberg that her job keeps her going.
“This is my fourth cancer bout, and I found each time that when I am active I am much better than when I am just lying about feeling sorry for myself,” Ginsburg explained.
“The necessity to get up and go is stimulating. And somehow, all these appearances I’ve had since the end of August, whatever my temporary disability is, it stops, and I’m okay for the event,” she continued, echoing the remarks she made at D.C’s National Book Festival in August.
“It’s the best and the hardest job I’ve ever had. It has kept me going through four cancer bouts. Instead of concentrating on my aches and pains, I just know that I have to read this set of briefs,” she said.