Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her left lung. It is Justice Ginsburg's third
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her left lung.
It is Justice Ginsburg’s third bout with cancer since she joined the court in 1993.
The court said the 85-year-old, who broke three ribs in a fall last month, underwent a procedure known as a pulmonary lobectomy on Friday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Ms Ginsburg is said to be “resting comfortably” according to a court spokeswoman.
Doctors found “no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body” and no additional treatment is currently planned.
The health of Ms Ginsburg – the oldest member of the Supreme Court’s nine jurists – has become a source of anxiety for many in America. She is the senior liberal member of the court, which now has a 5-4 conservative majority.
President Donald Trump has appointed two conservative judges to the court since taking office. Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh earlier this year.
If Ms Ginsburg were unable to continue serving, Trump could replace her with a conservative, further shifting the court to the right.
A potentially dominant 6-3 conservative majority would have major consequences for issues including abortion, the death penalty, voting rights, gay rights and religious liberty.
The growths were found during tests Ms Ginsburg was given after the fall in a office early in November. She also broke two ribs in a fall in 2012.
Ms Ginsburg was treated in 1999 for colon cancer and again in 2009 for pancreatic cancer. She was also treated in hospital the same year over a bad reaction to medicine.
In 2014, doctors placed a stent in her right coronary artery to improve blood flow after she reported discomfort following routine exercise. She was released from a hospital the next day.
Ginsburg has never missed Supreme Court arguments in more than 25 years on the bench. The court is due to reconvene to hear arguments on 7 January.
Last week, Ms Ginsburg said during an interview with NPR’s Nina Totenberg that her ribs were “almost repaired”.