Monday was the first time Ginsburg, the oldest member of the nine-justice court, has missed oral arguments as a result of her various health scares, including two previous cancer diagnoses.
At the same time, the Republican leaders must tread carefully while Ginsburg is still recovering from her recent cancer surgery in order to avoid sparking the righteous indignation of well-organized and well-funded liberal radicals, who spent weeks protesting in and around Capitol Hill last fall.
Ginsburg had surgery December 21 for two malignant nodules in her left lung, the 85-year-old justice's third bout with cancer.
Speaking of her retirement, Ginsburg has also said that like her colleague, former Justice Paul Stevens, she would like to continue on the court until she turns 90. "Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required", Arberg said.
Ginsburg's absence from the court this week was the first time she has missed oral arguments for health reasons.
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With Justice Brett Kavanaugh replacing swing voter Anthony Kennedy late a year ago, the Supreme Court now has a 5-4 conservative majority.
The source described the conversations as very preliminary so the White House is not "unprepared" for a grueling hearing. After her operation, President Donald Trump tweeted that he wished Ginsburg "a full and speedy recovery".
If Ginsburg is serious about her repeated vow to step down if she is not fully robust, liberals could be facing a crisis in the judiciary sooner than they think.
After the knock-down, drag-out confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh almost tore the nation asunder, the White House and Senate are preparing for another, potentially even more divisive, showdown. Seated from left: Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr.
But should she not return for the February 19 public sessions, there will likely be renewed concern for the liberal justice's future. She previously was a Michigan Supreme Court justice and a University of Michigan law professor.