White House quietly preparing for possible departure of Justice Ginsburg

Frederick Owens
January 11, 2019

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is cancer-free and her recovery from surgery is "on track" - but she will miss a second week of oral arguments next week, the court announced Friday.

After the 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice misses oral argument while recovering from cancer surgery, speculation grows that the Trump administration is preparing for a retirement and new confirmation battle.

"Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required", said court spokesperson Kathleen Arberg.

After the knock-down, drag-out confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh almost tore the nation asunder, the White House and Senate are preparing for another, potentially even more divisive, showdown.

Two doctors contacted by Fox News with experience in performing pulmonary lobectomies said, given her age and procedure, a home recovery of about six-to-eight weeks is common - and they would expect the justice to be ready to resume normal duties next month.

Despite that, President Trump may already be thinking that a third Supreme Court appointment could be a possibility.

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If Ginsburg, who will turn 86 in March, is unable to return to the bench, President Donald Trump would have the chance to nominate a third Supreme Court justice to the highest USA court.

The White House has told allies at the Judicial Crisis Network and the Federalist Society to ready for another potential hard confirmation battle, Politico reports in an article relying on unnamed sources.

One source "familiar with conversations" about judge replacement research told Politico that the White House "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".

With Gorsuch, protestations over the denial of Obama nominee Merrick Garland forced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to implement the nuclear option-a simple 50-vote majority rather than a 60-vote, filibuster-proof super-majority.

Trump tweeted his well-wishes to her in December. Many of them are women, sources say.

She has otherwise said that she "will do this job as long as [she] can do it full steam".

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