WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has completed a three-week course of radiation therapy to treat a cancerous tumor on her pancreas, a court spokeswoman said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen during a group portrait session for the new full court at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Young
The 86-year old justice tolerated the therapy well and no further treatment is required, spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement.
An abnormality was first detected in July, and the tumor was identified following a biopsy performed on July 31 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
“She canceled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule,” Arberg said.
“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the spokeswoman added.
Ginsburg, who joined the court in 1993, had two cancerous nodules in her left lung removed in December.
She missed oral arguments in January for the first time in her lengthy career on the court, fueling speculation about her ability to continue in the job. As the oldest justice, she is closely watched for any signs of deteriorating health.
Ginsburg, appointed in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, broke three ribs in a fall in November. The nodules on her lung were found as part of the tests the justice underwent after that fall.
Ginsburg was previously treated for pancreatic cancer in 2009 and colon cancer in 1999.
If Ginsburg, one of the nine-member court’s four liberal justices, were unable to continue serving, Republican President Donald Trump could replace her with a conservative, further shifting the court to the right. Trump has added two justices since becoming president in January 2017, cementing its 5-4 conservative majority.
Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Andrew Chung; editing by Richard Chang and Jonathan Oatis