Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from the hospital on Christmas Day following surgery for early stage lung cancer, according to a Supreme Court spokesperson.
Ginsburg is now “recuperating at home,” after doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York performed surgery on Ginsburg to remove cancerous growths found on her left lung.
The cancer was initially discovered after Ginsburg fell and fractured three ribs in November.
Shortly after her surgery, Ginsburg cast a decisive vote in a 5-4 decision that blocked the Trump administration from prohibiting people from seeking asylum if they cross the border illegally.
According to a press release from the Supreme Court:
“According to the thoracic surgeon Valerie Rusch, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned. Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.”
This is Ginsburg’s third cancer diagnosis. In 1999, she was treated for colorectal cancer; in 2009, pancreatic cancer, and now lung cancer.
Ginsburg, 85, is the oldest justice on the Supreme Court, and so her health has been the source of much speculation, partly because she is the most senior liberal member of a court that now has a 5-4 conservative majority. And should her health fail in the next two years, President Trump could cement a 6-3 conservative foothold for generations.
During Ginbsurg’s 25 years on the court, she has never missed a day of oral argument. And as NPR’s Nina Totenberg has reported, she doesn’t expect this time will be different.
The justice hopes to be back on the bench when oral arguments for the next session begin on Jan. 7.