US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 87-year-old anchor of its liberal wing, said Friday that she is undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer.
Ginsburg, one of the four liberal justices on the nine-member court, said she plans to remain on the bench “as long as I can do the job full steam.”
“I remain fully able to do that,” she said in a statement.
Ginsburg said a course of immunotherapy for lesions on her liver had proved unsuccessful but chemotherapy was “yielding positive results.”
Ginsburg’s health is closely watched as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks an opportunity to appoint a new justice who would tilt the court in a more solidly conservative direction, potentially shifting US law and social policy for decades.
Supreme Court justices serve until they die or voluntarily retire, and Ginsburg has clung to her position despite her age, aware that if she leaves it could change the US judicial landscape.
Ginsburg has suffered at least three previous bouts with cancer over the past two decades, including colon cancer and lung cancer.
She said a biopsy in February had revealed lesions on her liver and she began immunotherapy in May. When that proved unsuccessful she began chemotherapy.
“My most recent scan on July 7 indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease,” Ginsburg said.