Ginsburg Fighting Fifth Cancer Battle, Says No Plans to Retire

This image released by Magnolia Pictures shows U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in a scene from “RBG.” (Magnolia Pictures via AP)

WASHINGTON (CN) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is once again undergoing chemotherapy treatment, she said Friday, revealing that a February biopsy found liver cancer but that she will continue to serve on the Supreme Court. 

“I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam. I remain fully able to do that,” Ginsburg said in a Friday afternoon statement.

Considered a treasure of the Democratic Party that installed her in 1993, Ginsburg at 87 is the oldest member of the court and the second-longest serving justice, behind Clarence Thomas.

The most recent round of treatment marks Ginsburg’s fifth battle with cancer in two decades, having beat back colorectal cancer in 1999, lung cancer in 2018 and pancreatic cancer in 2009 and 2019. Early last year, Ginsburg missed 11 arguments after undergoing surgery to remove the cancerous nodules from her lungs.

Each time the justice has assured the public that she has no plans to step down from her lifetime appointment. “Throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other court work,” Ginsburg said Friday. 

Apart from her popular-culture affection, solidified in recent years with her hip-hop-styled nickname RBG, the justice’s health has faced close public scrutiny as her retirement would open a seat on the already conservative-held court. President Donald Trump appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the bench earlier in his term. 

Ginsburg’s most recent rounds of chemotherapy for liver cancer followed unsuccessful immunotherapy treatment. In May, the Clinton appointee participated in the high court’s first-ever remote oral arguments from a hospital as she was undergoing treatment for a benign gallbladder condition.

Assuring the public there has been no drop in her active daily routine, Ginsburg explained Friday that her most recent scan on July 7 showed significant reductions in the number of lesions on her liver, and no new disease. She plans to continue bi-weekly chemotherapy.

“The chemotherapy course, however, is yielding positive results,” Ginsburg said. “Satisfied that my treatment course is now clear, I am providing this information.”

The Supreme Court announced earlier this week that Ginsburg had returned home after an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, after being hospitalized for a possible infection. She confirmed Friday that the gallstones procedure and treatment for an infection were unrelated to her ongoing cancer battle.

%d bloggers like this: