The Supreme Court announced on Monday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will miss arguments for the first time in more than 25 years while she recovers from cancer surgery in December.
The 85-year-old Clinton appointee will work from home following the removal of two malignant cancerous growths from her left lung on Dec. 21 according to court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg. Ginsburg was released on Christmas day from a New York hospital.
The cancer was discovered one week after Ginsburg broke her ribs in a November 7 fall after doctors noticed growths on her lung.
The oldest Supreme Court Justice has battled cancer twice in the past, once in 1999 and then in 2009 when she underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer - neither of which kept her away from court.
During the heat of the 2016 US election, Ginsburg made shockwaves when she told the New York Times that should President Trump become President, it would be time to move to New Zealand, stating "I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president," adding "For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that."
The comments led many to suggest Ginsburg would need to recuse herself from any decisions involving Trump, with even the Washington Post noting that some "wondered what impact this might have on Ginsburg's decision to hear cases involving Trump. - If there's a redo of Bush v. Gore, how does Ginsburg not recuse herself, given her Trump comments?"
Trump fired back, telling The Times "I think it’s highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly."
He also tweeted: "Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot - resign!"
Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot - resign!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2016
Is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg going to apologize to me for her misconduct? Big mistake by an incompetent judge!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2016
Instead of backing down, Ginsburg doubled down.
"He is a faker," she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. "He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. ... How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that."
"At first I thought it was funny," she said of Trump's early candidacy. "To think that there's a possibility that he could be president... " Her voice trailed off gloomily, seemingly shocked that there is a chance the majority of Americans may be revolting at the status quo.
"I think he has gotten so much free publicity," she added, drawing a contrast between what she believes is tougher media treatment of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and returning to an overriding complaint: "Every other presidential candidate has turned over tax returns."
Trump - who would pick Ginsberg's successor should she pass away during his term in office, was able to put aside their differences and wish her a "full and speedy recovery" in December.
Wishing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a full and speedy recovery!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2018