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WASHINGTON. January 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Speculation is afoot in Washington because liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed arguments at the Supreme Court for the first time in more than 25 years.

According to a statement from the high court, Ginsburg did not sit on the bench while her colleagues gathered on Monday to hear arguments.

The 85-year-old justice was discharged on December 25 from a New York hospital after surgeons removed two cancerous growths from her left lung earlier in the month.

It was not clear from the statement when Ginsburg may return to the court, which is due to hear cases on Tuesday and Wednesday, and again next week.

In the courtroom on Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts said that Ginsburg would decide on the arguments “on the basis of the briefs and transcripts of oral arguments.”

Despite earlier health issues, including cancer surgeries in 1999 and 2009, Ginsburg rallied and did not fail to participate in court sessions. In 2009, for instance, Ginsburg returned to work at the court for arguments just 18 days after surgery for pancreatic cancer. And after sustaining a fall in November, she broke two ribs but spoke at the naturalization ceremony for new citizens, asked questions at high court arguments, and participated in interviews about the biopic that is dedicated to her, “On the Basis of Sex.”

After a pulmonary lobectomy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York in December, physicians announced that they had not found “evidence of any remaining disease” in her lung. Because imagery captured before her surgery showed no cancerous growths elsewhere in Ginsburg’s body, no additional treatment is currently planned, said the court.

Ginsburg has hired clerks for the court term that extends into 2020, thus giving evidence that she does not plan to retire. She dismissed suggestions from liberals that she should retire during Barack Obama’s second presidential term, when Democrats controlled the Senate and could have confirmed her successor.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has nominated two justices who are believed to by sympathetic to the pro-life cause. Should Ginsburg resign, Trump would have an opportunity to name her successor. However, on December 21, the president tweeted wishes for Ginsburg’s  “full and speedy recovery!” from surgery.