Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed arguments for the first time in more than 25 years as she recuperates from recent cancer surgery, the court said.
Ginsburg was not on the bench — where a judge sits — as the court met Monday to hear arguments. It was not clear when she would return to the court, which will hear more cases in the next two weeks.
Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the 85-year-old justice is continuing to recuperate and work from home after doctors removed two cancerous growths from her left lung December 21. Ginsburg was discharged from a New York hospital on December 25.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in the courtroom Monday that Ginsburg would participate in deciding the argued cases “on the basis of the briefs and transcripts of oral arguments.”
Ginsburg had two earlier cancer surgeries in 1999 and 2009 that did not cause her to miss court sessions. She also has broken ribs on at least two occasions.
The court said in a release on the day of the surgery that doctors found “no evidence of any remaining disease” and that no further treatment is planned.
Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg rebuffed suggestions from some liberals that she should step down in the first two years of President Barack Obama’s second term.
She has hired clerks for the term that extends into 2020, indicating she has no plans to retire.