Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has declared that she is “cancer-free,” beating the disease for the fourth time after undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer in the summer.
The 86-year-old justice, one of the oldest to serve on the Supreme Court, offered the health update to CNN in an interview in her chambers Tuesday evening.
“I’m cancer-free. That’s good,” Ginsburg said, with CNN reporting that she was “sounding energized and speaking animatedly.”
Ginsburg’s intensive radiation treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas in August had followed a diagnosis of lung cancer at the end of 2018 that resulted in the removal of part of her left lung and forced her to miss oral arguments for the first time in 25 years on the bench.
The feminist icon appeared in public shortly after her August treatment, telling a rapturous crowd at the National Book Festival in Washington that “this audience can see that I am alive.”
But the back-to-back health scares worried Democrats who don’t want her voice replaced on the nation’s highest court with a conservative one nominated by President Donald Trump.
The court is split 5-4 in favor of Republican-appointed justices. If Trump were to fill another open seat, it would cement the Supreme Court as right-leaning for generations.
Ginsburg’s fans, many of whom call her the “Notorious RBG” and have her likeness as action figures, tattoos and on ugly Christmas sweaters, celebrated the news of her clean bill of health on social media.
“I swear, this woman is made of some magical stuff! #RBG,” @dr_seminnis wrote on Twitter.
“A rare piece of good news in this day & age! #RBG,” @PettyBettyBB tweeted.
Ginsburg beat cancer for the first time in 1999 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer and again in 2009 when she was treated for pancreatic cancer.
She told CNN in 2018 that she believed she had “at least five more years” on the court.