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11 January 2019, 10:23 | Glen Norman
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Due to the 85-year-old Ginsburg's recent health issues - including broken ribs and another cancer scare - senior aides within the White House are licking their chops at replacing the liberal icon and changing the direction of the nation's highest court for generations.
Ginsburg, 85, had surgery in Manhattan on December 21 to remove two cancerous nodules from her left lung and was released on Christmas Day. Prior to this week, she had never missed a day of work in her more than 25 years as a Supreme Court justice.
Chief Justice John Robertssaid despite Ginsburg's missing the start of oral arguments for the first time ever this week, she remained engaged in reading briefs, filings and a transcript of the proceedings. After her operation, President Donald Trumptweeted that he wished Ginsburg "a full and speedy recovery".
The Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's recovery from cancer surgery is "on track" and no further treatment is required.
A year ago, the news broke that Ginsburg hired law clerks for at least two court terms, signaling she intends to stay through 2020.
Politico reported that the White House stirrings came in response to Ginsburg being out of the office.
"They're doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren't caught flat-footed", said one insider.
Currently, the nine-member Court already has a five-four conservative majority following Trump's controversial appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
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Ginsburg's health troubles have been met by significant concern from liberals, who recognize that if she retires and Trump picks a conservative to replace her, it would mark a significant generational shift to the right for the court.
A short list of potential nominees is being drafted by the White House counsel's office and the Senate Judiciary Committee's new chairman, Republican Sen.
Though unconfirmed, speculation intensified further still when a handful of verified conservative Twitter accounts began reporting murmurs that an announcement about Ginsburg's retirement could come as soon as today.
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