Washington • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will not be on the bench Monday when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments, the first time in her career she has missed a session.
Ginsburg, who joined the court in 1993, will participate in the scheduled cases by reading briefs and a transcript of the two oral arguments scheduled for Monday, court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said.
Ginsburg, 85, had surgery Dec. 21 for two malignant nodules in her left lung, her third bout with cancer.
The pulmonary lobectomy was performed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She was released several days later and has been working at home, according to Arberg.
The two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital after Ginsburg fell and broke three ribs on Nov. 7.
In a pulmonary lobectomy, a lobe of the lung is completely removed. The right lung has three lobes, the left has two.
Ginsburg was treated for colorectal cancer in 1999, and pancreatic cancer was discovered at a very early stage 10 years later. She scheduled treatment for both during the court's off days, and has not missed a day of oral argument.
Near the end of 2014, she had a heart stent implanted.
John Kucharczuk, chief of thoracic surgery in the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said the kind of surgery Ginsburg underwent is performed only when the doctors are convinced the cancer has not spread to other organs — in that case, the treatment would be a systemic therapy like chemotherapy.
“As long as I can do the job full steam, I will do it,” Ginsburg said last year. She has hired law clerks through the 2020 term.