Justice Ginsburg Says Cancer Has Returned, But She Won’t Retire

July 17, 2020 by Dan McCue
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg appears at Adas Israel Congregation on Feb. 1, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Friday she is receiving chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer, but has no plans to retire from the Supreme Court.

The 87-year-old Ginsburg, who spent time in the hospital this week for a possible infection, said she began chemotherapy on May 19 after a periodic scan last winter and a follow-up biopsy revealed lesions on her liver.

“Immunotherapy … proved unsuccessful,” she said, but biweekly chemotherapy sessions are “yielding positive results.”

“My most recent scan on July 7 indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease,” Ginsburg added. “I am tolerating chemotherapy well and am encouraged by the success of my current treatment.”

Ginsburg, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton and joined the court in 1993, has been treated four times for cancer. In addition to the tumor on her pancreas last year, she was previously treated for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. She had lung surgery to remove cancerous growths in December 2018.

Addressing the inevitable question about whether she’ll stay on the court, Ginsburg said, “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.” 

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