Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

White House Preparing for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Departure from Supreme Court

White House Preparing for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Departure from Supreme Court

The White House reportedly began quiet preparations for a possible replacement for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she missed oral arguments this week.

Ginsburg has said she will continue to serve on the Supreme Court as long as she is able to do the job. On Friday afternoon, Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes tweeted that the Supreme Court announced Ginsburg has no remaining signs of cancer and will need no additional treatment.

The 85-year-old associate justice underwent surgery to recover two cancerous growths from her left lung on December 21.

Ginsburg, who took the unprecedented step of attacking Trump as a candidate, is unlikely to step down willingly, even if incapacitated, meaning the seat would become open only upon her death.

"I wouldn't say she's exactly on my side, but I wish her well I hope she gets better and I hope she serves on the Supreme Court for many years", Trump added.

Ginsburg was released from the hospital about two weeks ago, according to the court, following the surgery earlier last month. She missed oral arguments for the first time in more than 25 years last week.

Monday was the first time Ginsburg, the oldest member of the nine-justice court, has missed oral arguments as a result of her various health scares, including two previous cancer diagnoses. The nodules themselves were discovered incidentally following tests after a fall she sustained in November.

The growths were found during tests Ginsburg had after she fractured ribs in a fall on November 7.

Ginsburg has said before that she has no plans of retiring anytime soon.

But should she not return for the February 19 public sessions, there will likely be renewed concern for the liberal justice's future. "She already had the rib fractures to deal with when she went into it". If Ginsburg, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton, were to vacate her seat, Trump would have the opportunity to give the Court its largest conservative majority in decades.

She has become best known for her opinions related to civil rights issues, including the landmark case opening up the Virginia Military Institute to women. Her health has been a matter of public concern due to the balance of the court, which is divided 5-4 among Republican and Democratic nominees.

The source described the conversations as very preliminary so the White House is not "unprepared" for a grueling hearing.

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