Justice Ginsburg Back in Court After Surgery

WASHINGTON -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back at work at a public session of the U.S. Supreme Court, 18 days after undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg entered the marble courtroom with her eight male colleagues just after 10 o'clock Monday as Supreme Court Marshal Pamela Talkin began the traditional chant that announces the start of court: "Oyez. Oyez. Oyez ..."

Ginsburg was in her typical court dress consisting of a black robe and white lace collar.

The Justice's return to court came several days after Sen. Jim Bunning predicted that Ginsburg would die from the cancer in nine months during a speech over the weekend in which he said he supports conservative judges "and that's going to be in place very shortly" because Ginsburg has "bad cancer."

"Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live after (being diagnosed) with pancreatic cancer," Bunning said.

Bunning apologized to Ginsburg on Monday in a statement.

"I apologize if my comments offended Justice Ginsberg [sic]," Bunning said. "That certainly was not my intent. It is great to see her back at the Supreme Court today and I hope she recovers quickly. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family."

Doctors gave Ginsburg, 75, an encouraging prognosis after they removed a small malignant tumor from her pancreas and determined that the disease had not spread to her lymph nodes or other organs.

She underwent surgery in New York on Feb. 5 and returned to her home in Washington on Feb. 13. The day after her operation, Ginsburg said through a court spokeswoman that she intended to be in court for Monday's session.  

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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