As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recovers from recent cancer surgery, she not only has missed her second week of oral arguments but has also canceled speaking engagements.
According to CBS News, Ginsburg had been scheduled to speak at a Skirball Cultural Center event later this month but will no longer be attending.
“Skirball announced Tuesday that the 85-year-old Ginsburg would be unable to attend ‘An Evening with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg” on Jan. 29,” reports CBS.
The brief statement on the Skirball site reads, “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg regrets that she is unable to visit the Skirball on January 29. The Justice is curtailing travel and focusing on her work while recuperating from recent surgery. Thank you for your understanding.”
No other details have been provided as to the nature of the now-canceled Skirball program.
Simultaneously, Ginsburg canceled another speaking event she had been scheduled to attend on February 6 in New York alongside financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein. CNN reports that the 92nd Street Y is working to reschedule the event.
“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg regrets that she is unable to attend the talk with David Rubenstein at 92Y on February 6,” an email from the 92nd Street Y said. “She is curtailing travel and focusing on her work while recuperating from recent surgery.”
Do any of these cancelations signify greater health problems with Justice Ginsburg? Probably not, at least according to a recent SCOTUS statement pronouncing her cancer-free and that she is “on track” to recovery. As of now she is expected to participate in the “consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts of oral arguments,” according to Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg. “Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required.”
No exact timetable has been provided indicating when Ginsburg will return to her duties. Her absence both last week and this week marked the first time the Supreme Court went forward without her presence since being confirmed 25 years ago. In late December of last year, she underwent surgery for lung cancer, which SCOTUS said was a “pulmonary lobectomy” resulting in the removal of two malignant nodules.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a pulmonary lobectomy today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City,” read the December statement. “Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in a fall on November 7. Both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation.”
As time goes on, the cult of RBG will become increasingly hesitant about her future on the Supreme Court and over whether President Trump will get another court pick before the 2020 election. Over at Politico, columnist Roger Simon said last week that he would actually sacrifice precious days of his own life to prolong Ginsburg’s.
Simon said on Twitter: “If it were possible, would you subtract one day off your life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health? If just 10,000 people did this, it would add 27 productive years to her life.”
Also last week, the fashion retailer Banana Republic announced it would be reissuing the “Ginsburg dissent collar” from 2012 and donate the proceeds to the ACLU in her honor.
“RBG is not just a judicial icon, she’s also a fashion one,” reported THR on the announcement. “Banana Republic on Monday revealed that the company will reissue Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Dissent Collar Necklace for a limited time.”
“The dissent collar has become synonymous with Ginsburg’s way of showing the public how she feels about a decision on the bench,” the report continued. “She even wore her collar the day after Donald Trump’s presidential election win to showcase her disapproval of the results.”