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Ginsburg returns to Supreme Court after weeks of speculation about her health and status

The 85-year-old justice had been absent since she underwent surgery in December

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned to the Supreme Court on Friday for the first time since undergoing surgery in December.

What's the story?

In November, Ginsburg suffered a fall that broke three ribs in her left side. While they were examining this injury, doctors found malignant nodules on the lower lobe of her left lung.

She returned to the hospital in December to have these removed and underwent a pulmonary lobectomy. On Dec. 21, the Supreme Court press office reported that the surgery had been successful, and the nodules had been removed. The Supreme Court said at the time that there was "no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required."

On Jan. 7, Ginsburg missed Supreme Court oral arguments for the first time in her 25 years on the bench.

She remained off the bench for the next month, leading to some speculation that she would eventually retire. While she did not show up to the court in person, she still reviewed briefings and arguments from her home while she recovered. She has also had private conferences with the other justices, and even voted on Feb. 7 when the Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana law that would have placed some restrictions on abortion, until the case could be fully reviewed.

However, on Friday, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court reported that Ginsburg had returned to the court for a private conference with the other justices. During that meeting, the nine justices decided to take up the issue of Trump's push to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and whether or not such a move would be constitutional.

This is Ginsburg's second public appearance after her long recovery. She had also attended a concert titled, "Notorious RBG in Song" on Feb. 4 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

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