Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Lung Surgery

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, had two malignant nodules removed from her left lung on Friday at a New York hospital, the Supreme Court announced Friday.

A court spokesperson said that there is no evidence of any remaining disease, nor is there evidence of disease elsewhere in her body.

The nodules were discovered after she was hospitalized in November when she fell and fractured three ribs.

"Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a pulmonary lobectomy today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City," the statement read, according to CNN. "Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in a fall on November 7."

"According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation," the statement continued. "Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned. Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days. Updates will be provided as they become available."

Ginsburg underwent surgery for colorectal cancer in 1999, and 10 years later was treated for early stages of pancreatic cancer.

She also broke two ribs in 2012, in a fall that she did not disclose to the public until months later. In 2014, she had a stent implanted to open a blocked artery.

If she has it her way, Ginsburg will continue to serve the Supreme Court as long as she's able to do so.

"I said I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam," Ginsburg said Sunday during an interview following a New York City screening of On the Basis of Sex, a feature film about her years as a young lawyer.

In July, she told CNN that her minimum goal was to stay on the bench for at least five more years. "I'm not 85," she said. "My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so I think I have about at least five more years."

Ginsburg is the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter for the District of Columbia. She served there until she was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.


The oldest member of the Court, Ginsburg has served for more than 25 years and is considered one of the court's more liberal justices.

She was married to her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, for 56 years until June 27, 2010, when he died from cancer. She described him as her biggest supporter and "the only young man I dated who cared that I had a brain."