The Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recovery from cancer surgery is “on track” — but behind the scenes, there may be more to the story than officials are willing to admit.
For the first time in her 25-year career as a Supreme Court judge, the 85-year-old missed court arguments this week.
And according to the highest court’s spokeswoman, Ginsburg is not expected to return to work next week either.
The Horn News reported on Wednesday that the White House and conservative legal experts are very quietly preparing for the worst.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity confirmed that report on Thursday.
Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says that Ginsburg’s doctors confirmed an initial evaluation that found no evidence of remaining cancer following surgery. But Ginsburg is taking longer to recover from the December surgery than was originally expected.
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The court’s oldest justice had surgery three weeks ago to remove cancerous growths on her left lungs, shortly after it was discovered during a CT scan when Ginsburg fell and broke three ribs in November.
She was released from the hospital in New York four days after the surgery and has been recuperating at home since then.
Ginsburg missed three days of arguments this week, the first time that’s happened since she joined the court in 1993.
She has had two previous bouts with cancer, in 1999 and 10 years later, but in the past has never missed work because of her failing health.
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The extended recovery for Ginsburg has led to speculation that there are more health problems than were originally reported.
“I don’t want to speculate about her health, but it doesn’t seem like a good sign,” Elizabeth Slattery, a legal expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told The Hill. “Perhaps she’s just resting up and will be back up to 100 percent soon.”
Inside Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump and his team have very quietly prepared for the worst case scenario.
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“The White House is reaching out to political allies and conservative activist groups to prepare for an ailing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible death or departure from the Supreme Court — an event that would trigger the second bitter confirmation battle of President Donald Trump’s tenure,” Politico wrote Thursday.
Trump “is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process,” said an insider. But he’s “doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article