After missing arguments for first time in 25 years, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns

PHOTO: Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during an official group photo at the Supreme Court on Nov. 30, 2018 in Washington.PlayWashington Post via Getty Images, FILE
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg checked off another box in her recovery Tuesday, returning to the bench for oral arguments for the first time since her surgery to remove cancerous nodules from her lung.

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Ginsburg missed oral arguments for the first time in 25 years when she underwent a pulmonary lobectomy in December. She returned to the court last week for the first time for the court's first February conference -- a time when justices discuss whether to take up cases.

Tuesday's appearance offered supporters further assurance that Ginsburg, 85, isn't going anywhere, a fear for liberals who feared her retirement or death would give President Donald Trump a third opportunity to add a justice to the bench.

The court said last month that Ginsburg's doctors confirmed in an exam following the surgery that she had "no evidence of any remaining disease" and that no further treatments were planned.

On Tuesday, Ginsburg's first day back for oral arguments, the court will hear a case about the U.S. Postal Service, which is caught up in a drafting problem from Congress' 2011 patent=reform bill, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.

Ginsburg has developed a reputation for her toughness and strength, both because of her rigorous personal training sessions in the Supreme Court exercise room, and because of the strides she's made for gender equality in the workplace.

The star of two recent major films, Ginsburg was one of nine women in her class at Harvard Law School and the co-founder of the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU, a group she started in order to fight for equal treatment for both genders.

After she was nominated by former President Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court in 1993, she became the second woman to ever serve on the highest court in the land.

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