Liberals panic as White House prepares for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible retirement

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Ginsburg, who took the unprecedented step of attacking Trump as a candidate, is unlikely to step down willingly, even if incapacitated, meaning the seat would become open only upon her death.

Ginsburg underwent surgery to remove cancerous tumors from her lungs last month.

Chief Justice John Roberts said 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.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be absent from oral arguments at the high court again next week continue to work from home next week as she recuperates from cancer surgery in December.

She's the subject of a Hollywood biopic and is very much alive, but the White House has been in contact with Senate Republicans about possible replacements for the ailing 85-year old Supreme Court justice.

If Donald Trump gets to replace Ginsburg, the Supreme Court would have six conservative judges and three liberals.

A year ago, the news broke that Ginsburg hired law clerks for at least two court terms, signaling she intends to stay through 2020. "According to the thoracic surgeon Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation".

With Gorsuch, protestations over the denial of Obama nominee Merrick Garland forced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to implement the nuclear option-a simple 50-vote majority rather than a 60-vote, filibuster-proof super-majority.

Dubbed the "Notorious RBG", Ginsburg marked 25 years on bench last year since her appointment to the court in 1993.

In any event, numerous judge names that have been floated so far are women: Amy Coney Barrett, Joan Larsen, Amul Thapar, Raymond Kethledge, Britt Grant; Thomas Hardiman, and Neomi Rao.

Senior White House aides and allies are quietly preparing for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's possible departure from the Supreme Court in the near future; setting the stage for a potential brutal confirmation battle should she retire.

Ginsburg has said before that she has no plans of retiring anytime soon.

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