Kentucky Sen.: Justice Ginsberg Likely Will Be Dead In 9 Months


r_bunning_iRepublican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky predicted over the weekend that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months. During a wide-ranging 30-minute speech this past weekend at the Hardin County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, Bunning said he supports conservative judges “and that’s going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg … has cancer.” “Bad cancer. The kind that you don’t get better from,” he told a crowd of about 100 at the old State Theater.”Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live after (being diagnosed) with pancreatic cancer,” he said.

Ginsburg, who is 75, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this month and surgeons removed a small tumor that had not spread. Doctors termed it a “Stage 1” cancer, meaning they found it in the early stages when it is most curable.

According to the American Cancer Society, people diagnosed with Stage 1 pancreatic cancer have between a 21 and 37 percent chance of living for more than five years with the disease.

Only about 20 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live for more than a year, but that’s because the cancer is difficult to detect and generally is found in later stages.

Members of the U.S. Senate play a key role when a member of the Supreme Court dies or retires because the Senate must confirm a president’s appointment before they can take the bench.

Ginsburg, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, is one of the most liberal members of the high court.

In his speech, Bunning talked about his opposition to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, blaming them in large part for the nation’s current financial crisis.

He also criticized President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package, saying it only drives the nation deeper into debt.

Bunning also reiterated that he would run for re-election in 2010. But he said he doesn’t have the ability to raise money like U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who spent more than $20 million in last year’s election.

Bunning, who only has about $150,000 in his campaign account, has been criticized because of his inability to raise money.

“I’m not only asking for your support, but if you have a $25 check somewhere, or whatever, you can send it, I’ll cash it,” he told the group.

He also made a veiled attack on National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman John Cornyn of Texas, criticizing him for not using Senatorial committee funds to help him and conservative Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and David Vitter of Louisiana.

Meanwhile, Bunning noted that the committee is helping moderate senators Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Olympia Snowe of Maine.

{Courier Journal/Elisha Newscenter}