Ginsburg to miss Supreme Court arguments for first time ever

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday was unable to attend oral arguments for the first time in her more than two decades on the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Ginsburg was working from home after undergoing surgery on Dec. 21 to remove two cancerous nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung, which were discovered incidentally during tests performed at the George Washington University hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures she sustained in a fall on Nov. 7.

Arberg said Ginsburg will participate in the cases using briefs, filings and transcripts of oral arguments.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Supreme Court justices were back on the bench Monday for the first time in the new year, hearing arguments in two cases.

The first case is a battle over the preemption of federal and state laws, and the second case is over fair debt collection laws and whether they apply to nonjudicial foreclosures, which do not require a court’s approval.

The Supreme Court could not say if Ginsburg will be out for the remainder of the week. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Chief Justice John Roberts briefly announced Ginsburg’s absence from the bench at the start of Monday’s proceedings. He said Ginsburg is unable to attend the arguments, but would still participate in the decision of the case by way of briefs and transcripts.

Updated at 10:16 a.m.