Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s absence this week from Supreme Court oral arguments – her first since joining the bench – has touched off a burst of speculation as well as low-key planning from the White House about the possibility of a departure.
At the same time, observers aren’t convinced the liberal backbone of the court is going anywhere. And as she recovers from early-stage lung cancer surgery, they suggest talk of a vacancy is premature.
“We shouldn’t read too much into the fact that she’s missed three days of oral arguments,” said Elizabeth Slattery, host of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s “Scotus 101” podcast. “She famously was back on the bench the day after her beloved husband Marty passed away so she’s obviously very committed to the job. But clearly she needs time to recuperate.”