Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be battling pancreatic cancer for the second time in her life, but the seemingly unstoppable 86-year-old jurist has shown no signs of slowing down in the wake of her diagnosis.
Even following a three-week course of radiation treatment over the summer, Ginsburg has continued to maintain her busy schedule of public appearances, according to USA Today.
Not slowing down
USA Today reported that Ginsburg’s busy schedule is being viewed by pundits as a signal of her continued health in spite of her recent diagnosis.
Since her latest bout with cancer was revealed in late August, Ginsburg has traveled the country to participate in a number of events in her honor, presumably in part to counter the critics who have suggested she needs to retire and is no longer capable of fulfilling her duties.
“As cancer survivors know, that dread disease is a challenge, and it helps to know that people are rooting for you. Now, it’s not universal,” Ginsburg said Thursday during an event at the 92nd St. Y in New York City. She added that she would continue to serve on the Supreme Court “as long as I’m healthy and mentally agile.”
At a different event in New York City on Wednesday, Ginsburg directly addressed critics who think she should have retired before President Trump took office, saying: “When that suggestion is made, I ask the question: Who do you think the president could nominate that could get through the Republican Senate? Who would you prefer on the court than me?”
RBG’s rocky road
The concerns about Ginsburg’s health are not at all unfounded, as she has dealt with cancer four times since she was nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1993.
In 1999, she battled colon cancer, which was successfully treated with chemotherapy and radiation. She then faced down pancreatic cancer for the first time in 2009 and recovered from that, as well. In 2014, she received a stent in her heart.
More recently, cancerous growths on her lungs were discovered and removed after she fell and fractured three ribs in 2018, leading up to her second battle with pancreatic cancer this summer.
All of that would likely wear down the vast majority of people, but Ginsburg — who has faithfully worked out twice per week with a trainer since the first go-round with cancer to keep her strength up — obviously hasn’t let her health issues keep her from pressing forward.
Though the “Notorious RBG” has signaled that she intends to serve upwards of five more years — apparently to outlast the potential re-election of President Trump — the day will inevitably come sooner or later that Ginsburg’s seat on the high court will be vacant.
When that day comes — particularly if it comes while Trump is still in office — the ideological battle over who will succeed the beloved and idolized liberal jurist will be of a magnitude never-before-seen.