Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday night made her first public appearance since undergoing cancer surgery in December, attending a celebration of her life presented in song.
The 85-year-old justice attended a production of “Notorious RBG in Song” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington. The program about Ginsburg’s life in the law was created and performed by Ginsburg’s daughter-in-law, the soprano Patrice Michaels, and presented for high school students by the National Constitution Center.
Ginsburg did not speak, and many in the crowd did not know she was there. She sat in the back, and most saw her only as they left the performance. Michaels did not announce the justice’s presence.
Ginsburg had not made public appearances since undergoing a pulmonary lobectomy Dec. 21 after doctors discovered cancerous nodules in her left lung. Recovery from such surgery typically takes six to eight weeks, according to medical specialists, and Ginsburg, for the first time since joining the court in 1993, missed a round of oral arguments in January.
Some on the extreme political right had insisted that the justice’s ailments were graver than the Supreme Court has acknowledged, suggesting it would be an ominous sign if she skipped President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Actually, it would be more like par for the course. Ginsburg did not attend either of Trump’s previous speeches to Congress.
The court has said that although Ginsburg missed oral arguments last month, she will vote in the cases based on briefs and transcripts and that she has participated from home in deciding which cases the court has accepted or rejected for its docket, as well as in some emergency decisions.
The court’s last statement on her health, released Jan. 11, said: “Her recovery from surgery is on track. Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required.”
The court will meet next in public session Feb. 19.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Robert Barnes ·