Contrary to rumors that she’s sicker than reported, that she’s dying, or even that she’s secretly dead, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to a tweet by CNN criminal justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz, Ginsburg “is at the Supreme Court today and will participate in the justices’ scheduled closed-door conference.” Prokupecz said that the information came from the court’s public information officer, per CNN.
The 85-year-old Ginsburg underwent surgery last year to remove two cancerous nodules from her lungs, which were discovered after she fell and broke three of her ribs. For a while after that, the justice worked from home, and even missed two weeks of oral arguments, a first in her career. A court spokeswoman said in December that Ginsburg had “no evidence of remaining disease,” and that “no further treatment is required.”
Around the new year, a set of baseless conspiracy theories began circulating which argued that Ginsburg was near death, or even that she had actually died and her death was being covered up.
In January, Fox News’ Fox and Friends mistakenly ran a memorial graphic for Ginsburg stating that she had died in 2019, although the anchors quickly apologized, per the Inquisitr. Also in January, a dodgy news website called the Santa Monica Observer, which had claimed that it “broke” the story of Ginsburg’s cancer last year, reported that Ginsburg had contracted pneumonia and “appears to be nearing the end of her life.” Not only was this false, but the Santa Monica Observer did not “break” the cancer story in 2018; they had merely written a similarly fake story, months before her actual diagnosis, and listed the wrong kind of cancer, per Snopes.
Adherents of QAnon and other fringe types then began spreading the theory that Ginsburg was already dead, with some, including former Trump White House aide Sebastian Gorka, implying on Twitter that if Ginsburg didn’t show up at the president’s State of the Union address, it would prove that she was either iller than reported or even that she was dead. Ginsburg did not attend the address, which – contrary to the theories – is not a requirement for Supreme Court justices.
Ginsburg seemed to put those theories to bed when she made a public appearance at the beginning of February, attending a musical tribute revue called “Notorious RBG in Song,” at the National Museum of Women in Washington, per the Washington Post. Now, Ginsburg has made her expected return to the court.