In a maximally chaotic news cycle, here is one good thing: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court’s most resilient Justice, told CNN she’s been cleared of cancer once again. RBG granted the outlet an interview in her chambers on Tuesday night and, “sounding energized and speaking animatedly,” said: “I’m cancer-free. That’s good.” An incredible understatement, but yes, agreed.
Because she is a decisive voice in the Court’s liberal minority, especially given our current president’s judicial agenda, it has become extra anxiety-making to see a Ginsburg-related health scare announced in a headline. Unfortunately, there have been a number of these in the past few years: In November, the 86-year-old developed an infection that landed her in the hospital with chills and a fever. In August 2019, she underwent radiation therapy to treat a pancreatic tumor, and while that was successful, it followed disconcertingly close on the heels of a December 2018 surgery to remove cancerous nodules from Ginsburg’s lungs. And the month before that, she was hospitalized after fracturing three ribs in a fall.
Ginsburg previously battled colorectal cancer in the late 1990s and pancreatic cancer in 2009, and had a heart procedure in 2014. She enlists a personal trainer, Bryant Johnson, to keep her at peak strength; according to Johnson, Ginsburg remains “tough as nails.” And as of July, the Justice’s avowed intention was to “stay on this job as long as [she] can do it full steam.”