When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed oral arguments on Monday to recuperate from surgery, the White House began reaching out to political allies and conservative activist groups to consider possible replacements, should death or retirement keep her off the bench, Politico reported.
This was the first time Ginsburg, 85, missed oral arguments in her 25 years on the Supreme Court. She had two cancerous growths removed from her lungs in late December. NPR reported that she will continue to rest next week before returning to work.
“Her recovery from surgery is on track,” court spokeswoman Kathleen L. Arberg said Friday. “Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required.”
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,” a source with knowledge of the situation told Politico. “They’re doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.”
Should Ginsburg leave, President Trump would have the opportunity to replace her with a conservative justice, creating the Court’s strongest conservative majority in decades.
Some are not ready to see that happen. Roger Simon, chief political columnist of Politico, posed a question to Twitter: “If it were possible, would you subtract one day off your life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health?”
Then he did the math: “If just 10,000 people did this, it would add 27 productive years to her life.”
If it were possible, would you subtract one day off your life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health? If just 10,000 people did this, it would add 27 productive years to her life. pic.twitter.com/RurqFmWZGp— Roger Simon (@politicoroger) January 8, 2019