Ruth Bader Ginsburg Absent from Supreme Court Arguments Due to Illness


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed oral arguments on Wednesday due to illness.

“Justice Ginsburg is unable to be present today. She is indisposed due to illness, but she will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts or recordings of the oral arguments,” Chief Justice John Roberts said from the bench, Fox News reported.

The cases to be heard on Wednesday were Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, et al., and Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC.

A court spokeswoman said that Ginsburg was at home with a stomach bug, according to The Hill.

The 86-year-old has overcome two separate health scares over the last year.

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Ginsburg was diagnosed and treated for lung cancer in December 2018, which caused her to miss oral arguments for the first time since being appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

She returned to the bench in late February with a reported clean bill of health.

Last summer, a cancerous tumor was found on Ginsburg’s pancreas. She received radiation treatment in August, NPR reported.

Later that month, the justice made an appearance at the National Book Festival, where she announced, “As this audience can see I am alive, and I’m on my way to being very well.”

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Ginsburg previously survived colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009.

She is the oldest member of the court, followed by justices Stephen Breyer at 81 and Clarence Thomas at 71.

In July 2018, Ginsburg hinted at a timeline for her retirement. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years,” she said during an interview.

If she left the court at 90, that would fall during a potential second term for Trump.

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Trump has reportedly said he would nominate 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg.

The Senate approved the now 47-year-old Barrett — who clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia early in her legal career — to the 7th Circuit in 2017 by a vote of 55 to 43.

So far, Trump successfully appointed justices Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, which resulted in the high court having a 5-4 conservative majority, with Roberts often playing the role of the swing vote.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith