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Ruth Bader Ginsburg misses court due to illness

A court spokesman said Ginsburg is home to a stomach virus and is expected to take part in the cases by reading the briefs.

The highest justice of the Supreme Court, Ginsburg heads the liberal wing of the court, currently numbered 5-4 by the Conservatives.

She is an active participant on the bench this term, often asking the first questions. She was present on Tuesday when the court heard one of the most important cases of the term related to President Donald Trump's decision to suspend a program of deferred action for childhood arrivals.

The Supreme Court is hearing an unusual inclusion of blockchain cases this term, including immigration, abortion and the Second Amendment.

Her health has long been a problem.

Ginsburg, 86, is a four-time cancer survivor and is an active participant on the bench. In August, she announced she was being treated for pancreatic cancer. At the time, the court's public information officer said: "The tumor was definitely healing and there was no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body."

In 1999, she underwent surgery to treat colon cancer. She was treated in the early stages of pancreatic cancer in 2009. Last December, Ginsburg underwent surgery to remove two cancer nodules from his left lung.

Ginsburg, who inspired the infamous RBG memoir and has been the subject of a documentary and feature film in recent years, missed oral arguments for the last term for the first time while recovering, but participated in court transcripts and writings.

After her latest diagnosis, Ginsburg went on an extended multi-state speech tour.

"This latest was my fourth cancer battle and I discovered every time I was active, I am much better off than just lying and feeling sorry for myself," she said in New York at the Yale Club at an event hosted by Moment magazine.

"I need to wake up and go, it's stimulating and somehow all these performances I've had since late August regardless of my temporary disability, it stops and I'm fine for the timing of the event," she said.

Ginsburg is known for possessing ideological divisions to build relationships with its fellow judges. This term, at the end of the argument, Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative judges on the court, extended a hand to Ginsburg, the liberal icon of the court, to help her lower the steps left out of the chamber.

Today marks the last session for November. Judges will meet behind closed doors on Friday of this week and take the bench Monday for a day without arguments. They will not hear arguments again until December 2.

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