Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not attend oral arguments on Wednesday after she was forced to remain home with a stomach issue. Chief Justice John Roberts announced the absence and cited the illness as the reason in a statement after the court convened that morning.
Ginsburg has faced more severe health complications last year when she underwent surgery to remove cancerous nodes from her lung. And, over the summer this year, Ginsburg also underwent radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Chief Justice Roberts said she was “indisposed due to illness,” the Washington Examiner reports.
CBS Pittsburg reports Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Ginsburg was staying home due to “a stomach bug.”
Roberts noted that Ginsburg intended to be at the arguments, continuing her excellent record of attending these hearings and her other Supreme Court obligations, but was unable to do so.
The Washington Examiner adds:
Ginsburg was on the bench for oral arguments Tuesday, when the justices considered legal challenges to Trump’s efforts to unwind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. She was an active participant, posing the first question to Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who argued on behalf of the Trump administration.
President Bill Clinton named Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993. She has vowed to remain on the high court until she is at least 90.
Ginsburg’s viability on the court has recently been put into question as President Trump and congressional Republicans are looking to add another conservative judge to the bench. Ginsburg, defiant of the cause, predicted that she would serve through the remainder of Trump’s time in office—even through a potential second term.
Should she have to retire before Trump leaves office, he would be given the opportunity to fill a third Supreme Court vacancy. Trump selected Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to the high court in his first year in office and later added Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“The impartial and objective judge, who is a faithful servant of the law, is essential to the survival of American liberty."
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 7, 2019