WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump had encouraging words for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she recovers from treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas.
After the announcement Friday that Ginsburg had just finished three weeks of radiation therapy, the president said, “I hope she does really well.”
“I'm hoping she's going to be fine,” Trump said before boarding Marine One to head to the G-7 Summit in France. “She's pulled through a lot. She's strong, very tough.”
Ginsburg, 86, has battled back from cancer before. In 1999, she had colorectal cancer, and a decade later, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is often deadly but was detected early in her case.
Last year, she underwent surgery for cancerous nodules in her lungs. She returned to work at the Court afterward, but missed arguments for the first time in more than 25 years earlier this year as she recovered from the surgery.
The Supreme Court said Friday that the malignant tumor on her pancreas was detected during a routine blood test last month.
"The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body," the Supreme Court's public information office said in the statement. "Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans."
Her health has become a concern among both conservatives and progressives as the possible end of her tenure could allow Trump to replace her with another conservative justice and further shift the ideological balance of the high court for decades to come.
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Since taking office, he has has appointed two conservatives to the nine-member court, creating a majority of five Republican appointees. Justice Neill Gorsuch was sworn in in April 2017, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in in October.
If Trump gets a third pick, he would be the first president to have three Supreme Court appointments since President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
Still, Trump said Friday that his message to Ginsburg is “we wish her well – very well.”
“And our thoughts and prayers are with her,” he said. “It's a very serious situation.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump on Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'I'm hoping she's going to be fine'