Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent Wednesday from oral arguments at the Supreme Court due to a “stomach bug,” according to a statement from Chief Justice John Roberts.
Ginsburg is “indisposed due to illness,” Roberts said at the start of the day’s hearings.
The health of the 86-year-old liberal justice, known to her fans as “the notorious RBG,” has been a subject of intense public focus in the past year, sparked by a fall that broke three of her ribs last November. After that health scare, she underwent surgery for cancer on her lung in December 2018 and radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer in August 2019.
In response to these medical episodes, liberal activists have alternated between cultic devotion — offering their own healthy organs as a means to keep Ginsburg alive until Trump leaves office — and criticism that the justice did not retire earlier, giving President Barack Obama an opportunity to nominate a younger replacement.
After her latest round of cancer treatments, Ginsburg told an audience at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, “I am on my way to being very well.”
“I love my job,”she continued. “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.