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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will miss arguments for second week, but no further treatments planned


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will miss a second week of oral arguments as she continues to recover from a cancer surgery she underwent last month, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Friday.

But Ginsburg’s recovery is on track, there is no evidence of remaining cancer in her body, and no further treatment is planned. Ginsburg will continue to participate in the cases on the basis of the briefs and transcripts of oral arguments.

“Her recovery from surgery is on track,” Arberg said. “Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required.”

Read more: Top cancer doctors expect Justice Ginsburg back by February

Ginsburg underwent an operation on Dec. 21 to remove two cancerous growths from her left lung. Friday marks three weeks since the surgery. Ginsburg, the court’s eldest justice, will turn 86 in March.

The court had provided no guidance on when Ginsburg would return to the bench. Her absence on Monday marked the first time in her more than 25 years on the high court that she was not present for arguments.

Cancer experts have said that a typical recovery period for the type of minimally invasive pulmonary lobectomy the justice received is about four to six weeks. After next week, the court will not meet again for arguments until February 19.

Ginsburg’s health has been a matter of intense public concern because of the political balance of the court. The nine-justice panel is currently divided 5-4 among Republican and Democratic nominees.

Ginsburg’s retirement from the court would likely enable President Donald Trump to name Ginsburg’s successor, solidifying its conservative majority. It would mark the first time that Trump replaced a justice appointed by a Democrat.

The president has wished Ginsburg a speedy recovery.

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