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The Supreme Court announced today that Associate Justice Ruth Ginsburg, 86, has completed a three week course of radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for a malignant tumor on her pancreas. The tumor was detected during a blood test in early July and confirmed through a biopsy on July 31. In addition to the radiation therapy, Ginsburg also had a bile duct stent installed. According to the Office of Public Information at the Supreme Court, the tumor was “definitively treated” and there is no sign of disease elsewhere in her body.
Ginsburg has had cancer numerous times. Most recently, just last December she had a lobectomy on the left side of her lungs to remove cancerous nodules, also performed at Memorial Sloan Kettering. That procedure caused her to miss oral arguments at the Supreme Court, the first time she’d been absent since joining the court.
Ginsburg has said she wishes to remain on the court as long as she is mentally capable, but the reoccurrence of her cancer, although successfully treated, raises the prospect that she may resign for health reasons, or even pass away, before the 2020 presidential election. In which case, Donald Trump would nominate her replacement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that he would “absolutely” bring a vote to the floor of the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
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NEW: Justice Ginsburg has completed a 3 week course of radiation therapy to treat a tumor on her pancreas. “The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.” pic.twitter.com/vGo8hyNRJZ
— Kimberly Robinson (@KimberlyRobinsn) August 23, 2019