David Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart'

CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist David AxelrodDavid AxelrodThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders, Buttigieg set for Granite State showdown The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders, Buttigieg do battle in New Hampshire Timeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship MORE responded Friday to news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgFive takeaways from Trump's trip to India Justices bar Mexican parents from suing over fatal cross-border shooting of teen Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Arizona man MORE had recently completed radiation treatment for a malignant tumor, writing that a vacancy on the high court could "tear this country apart."

"If there is a SCOTUS vacancy next year and @senatemajldr carries through on his extraordinary promise to fill it-despite his own previous precedent in blocking Garland-it will tear this country apart," Axelrod wrote, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Facebook — Washington, Wall Street on edge about coronavirus Overnight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Lawmakers race to pass emergency coronavirus funding MORE (R-Ky.) blocking former President Obama's final Supreme Court nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDC wine bar loses appeal in lawsuit against Trump hotel Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate The Trumpification of the federal courts MORE, in 2016.

The Hill has reached out to McConnell's office for comment.

Ginsburg, 86, is the oldest member of the high court and has sat on its nine-member bench for 26 years. She has had cancer multiple times during her tenure. She had surgery in 1999 for colorectal cancer, a procedure for pancreatic cancer in 2009 and another operation to remove two malignant nodules in her lungs in December.


Her most recent treatment, announced by the Supreme Court on Friday, was to combat a tumor that was detected in early July during a routine blood test and was conducted on an outpatient basis at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. A stent was also inserted into her bile duct as part of the treatment.

The Supreme Court said in a statement Friday that Ginsburg "tolerated treatment well" and that "the tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body."

Concerns over Ginsburg's health and ability to continue on as a justice have prompted some to offer to donate their organs, while others have recommended cloaking her in bubble wrap.

Affectionately referred to as RBG by supporters, Ginsburg has emerged as a cultural icon for liberals who see her as a bulwark against President Trump’s efforts to install more conservative justices.