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U.S. Justice Ginsburg says she is on her way to ‘being very well’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is on the court’s liberal wing, told a packed audience Saturday that she was on her way to “being very well” after cancer treatment, and will be prepared when the court’s next term begins in October.

Ginsburg, 86, who was recently treated for pancreatic cancer, seemed sharp but accepted assistance coming on to the stage and spoke from a sitting position.

“This audience can see that I am alive. And I’m on my way to being very well,” she said at the National Book Festival in Washington.

She indicated that she had no plans to step down, and was getting ready for the next term. “I will be prepared for when the time comes,” she said. “I love my job. It is the best and hardest job that I ever had.”

The oldest justice, Ginsburg was appointed in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

In addition to pancreatic cancer, Ginsburg had two cancerous nodules in her left lung removed last December. She was previously treated for pancreatic cancer in 2009 and colon cancer in 1999.

If Ginsburg, one of the nine-member court’s four liberal justices, were unable to continue serving, Republican President Donald Trump could replace her with a conservative, further shifting the court to the right. Trump has added two justices since becoming president in January 2017, cementing its 5-4 conservative majority.

Reporting by Diane Bartz, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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