A deep and abiding fear among many liberals is that 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be compelled for health reasons to retire within the next two years, which would provide President Donald Trump the opportunity to appoint a more conservative jurist as a replacement for her on the high court.
Thus, whenever news is reported with regard to Ginsburg’s health, the hearts of liberals across America tend to skip a collectivist beat, which is exactly what happened Friday morning.
CNBC reported that Ginsburg quietly underwent surgery Friday to have a pair of cancerous growths removed from her left lung. That surgery was deemed a success, and the elderly justice was reportedly “resting comfortably” following the procedure.
The Supreme Court released a statement Friday explaining that the surgery had stemmed from the discovery of two nodules in Ginsburg’s left lung during scans conducted following Ginsburg’s recent fall in November that had resulted in three fractured ribs.
Press release from the Supreme Court about Justice Ginsburg’s surgery available at this link: https://t.co/82UZ1mxihr
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) December 21, 2018
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a pulmonary lobectomy today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City,” the statement read. “Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in a fall on November 7.
“According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned.
“Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days. Updates will be provided as they become available.”
It remains unclear at this point how long it will take Ginsburg to recover from the surgery. As of yet, it has not prevented her from missing any work on the Supreme Court, as the court is in recess and not scheduled to reconvene for private conferences until Jan. 4, with the next round of oral arguments scheduled for Jan. 7.
It is worth noting that Ginsburg appeared to have recovered surprisingly fast from the fractured ribs she suffered during a fall in her office on Nov. 7. She didn’t miss any oral arguments in the court following that incident either and recently informed supporters during an interview that she was “almost repaired” in full and had already resumed her typical full workout routine.
Nevertheless, it must also be pointed out that this isn’t the first health scare for Ginsburg, as she has twice previously faced down and defeated cancer. She has also dealt with a heart issue and had a stent placed in her right coronary artery in 2014.
Ginsburg was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. She became only the second woman to serve on the court, joining Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
Democrats are fearful that Ginsburg’s health issues may ultimately force her to step down from the court while Trump remains in office, which could allow him to nominate her successor.
Given that Trump has already nominated and seen confirmed two jurists — Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — and that the court already leans 5-4 in favor of conservatives, a third nominee confirmed to the court under Trump would shift its balance even further to the right. That would likely have massive ideological and political ramifications on a variety of hot-button issues.
Should the day come during Trump’s tenure in office that Ginsburg should have to retire from the court, you can rest assured that Democrats will fight tooth and nail to prevent Trump from filling that seat with a conservative-leaning nominee.
Indeed, the brutal fight to confirm Kavanaugh could seem like a mild disagreement in comparison.
To be sure, we all hope and pray that Justice Ginsburg recovers quickly and returns to full health. That said, it would be disingenuous to suggest that we conservatives wouldn’t also wish Ginsburg a pleasant retirement over the remainder of her time here on earth.
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