These Ruth Bader Ginsburg Decisions Show Cancer Surgery Didn't Slow Her Down
Fans don't call her the "Notorious RBG" for nothing. According to Bloomberg, her recovery period after surgery hasn't kept Ruth Bader Ginsburg from working hard. The justice already issued two of the three opinions from the Supreme Court on Monday, and one of them for a case whose arguments Ginsburg heard when she was recuperating from a pulmonary lobectomy she underwent in late December, the outlet reported. The 85-year-old Supreme Court justice returned to the bench in February after her surgery.
On Monday, NPR's legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg, tweeted, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg sends a not-so-subtle message [to] @SCOTUS today, summarizing not one but two opinions she authored, including one in a case heard while she was home recuperating from surgery. She now has produced four opinions, more than any other justice this term."
The well-known justice has undergone some major health issues in the past few months. In November, CNN reported that Ginsburg was hospitalized after she fractured a few ribs after she fell in her office.
While being treated in November, Business Insider noted that doctors spotted some malignant growth in the lower half of one of Ginsburg's lungs. In late December, Ginsburg got a pulmonary lobectomy in order to surgically remove two malignant nodules from her left lung, according to The Washington Post.
On Monday, Ginsburg weighed in on a case involving a railroad industry tax issue, according to Bloomberg. The outlet reported that Ginsburg explained how "compensation" worked under federal law for railroad workers. If an employee in the industry is injured and sues his or her company, the missed wages he or she is given counts as "compensation," according to Ginsburg.
Under such a law, the worker is expected to pay some taxes for the reimbursed wages. According to Bloomberg, Ginsburg explained, "Congress did not exclude personal injury damages from 'compensation.'"
In another case, Ginsburg weighed in on a copyright-infringement issue. In this instance, the Supreme Court justice noted how the Copyright Office can take considerable time to handle an application. "So infringement may continue for some time before a copyright owner can stop it," Ginsburg said, according to Bloomberg. "Delays, in large part, are the result of Copyright Office staffing and budgetary shortages that Congress can alleviate, but courts cannot fix."
Her lung surgery wasn't the first time she was hospitalized for a major health issue. Ginsburg overcame early stage colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. In 2014, she underwent a coronary catheterization for her heart, according to The New York Times.
Some might be concerned about Ginsburg's health given that she's been working hard after her surgery, and a fall that caused several of her ribs to fracture. Even at 85 years old, however, the Supreme Court justice has been clear about her dedication to her job.
Ginsburg previously told The New York Times in 2013 that she planned to stay on the Supreme Court for "as long as I can do the job full steam." With such strong sentiment, it's no shocker the justice — who also told The Times "I love my job" that year — is back to the grind.