Ruth Bader Ginsburg skips State of the Union – Washington Examiner
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was conspicuously absent from President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Ginsburg, who turns 86 next month, has been working from home in recent weeks as she recovers from treatment for cancer.
Her son said this week she has been out walking and sees a personal trainer twice a week. She appeared in public Monday for the first time since her recent surgery, when she attended a concert at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Her daughter-in-law was participating in a performance about her own life, called “Notorious RBG in Song.”
In missing oral arguments in January for the first time in a quarter-century on the Supreme Court, the liberal justice raised the prospect that she might step down and give Trump a third opportunity to appoint a conservative justice to the bench.
That possibility might have been on the mind of some conservatives at the outset of Trump’s second State of the Union and third overall address to a joint session of Congress, with many relishing the president making another Supreme Court pick. “No Ginsburg sighting,” tweeted Matt Schlapp, a conservative lobbyist and Trump ally.
Ginsburg wasn’t the only Supreme Court absentee in the House chamber Tuesday evening. Only Chief Justice John Roberts and associate justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh were there to represent the high court. Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Stephen Breyer all stayed away.
Before Trump was elected, Ginsburg joked that she might move to New Zealand if he won the 2016 election. “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she said. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
Nominated by a Democrat, former President Bill Clinton, in 1993, she has never gone to the State of the Union while a Republican — either George W. Bush or Trump — was in office.
It’s not unusual for justices to skip the State of the Union, though others don’t have a partisan record of attendance to compare with Ginsburg’s. Alito hasn’t shown up since 2010 and Thomas has been absent since 2009. Both were nominated by Republican presidents. Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired in 2010, never went to a State of the Union in 35 years on the bench.