Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a strange health announcement during an interview with NPR on Wednesday.
“I am very much alive,” Ginsburg said with a smile.
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Ginsburg’s interview discussed her health challenges and three bouts with cancer, and said she wasn’t planning on retiring soon.
“There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months,” she recalled. “That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead. I am very much alive.”
In the past 20 years, Ginsburg has undergone a number of major surgeries. In 1999, Ginsburg had colorectal cancer that required nine months of chemotherapy. In 2009 she had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and last year she had cancer removed from her lungs.
She admitted she was worried about her health — but says her work helped her recover.
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“The work is really what saved me because I had to concentrate on reading the briefs, doing a draft of an opinion, and I knew it had to get done,” she said. “So I had to get past whatever my aches and pains were just to do the job.”
Later in the week, Ginsburg defended President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in an interview in New York.
She also spoke out against the hyper-politicized Supreme Court nomination process.
Duke Law professor Neil Siegel told Ginsburg that “nominees for the Supreme Court are not chosen primarily anymore for independence, legal ability, personal decency, and I wonder if that’s a loss for all of us.”
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“My two newest colleagues are very decent, very smart individuals,” Ginsburg snapped.
“Justice Kavanaugh made history by bringing on board an all-female law clerk crew,” Ginsburg said. “Thanks to his selections, the court has this term, for the first time ever, more women than men serving as law clerks.”
The Horn editorial team