"RBG", US top court justice, misses new session

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, seen here in a 2015 picture, is recovering from surgery to remove two cancerous nodes in her lung (AFP Photo/CHRIS KLEPONIS)
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Washington (AFP) - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent at the resumption of Supreme Court hearings Monday, recovering at home from cancer surgery at age 85.

A linchpin of the court's liberal wing, Ginsburg is said to have never missed a hearing since her appointment to the high court 25 years ago.

"Justice Ginsburg is unable to be present today, but will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts of oral arguments," chief justice John Roberts said.

Ginsburg is at her home, according to a court spokeswoman, Kathy Arberg.

She suffered a fall on November 7th and had broken ribs. Then during medical examinations, two cancerous nodules were found in one lung.

They were removed in mid-December in a New York hospital and no other tumors were detected.

Her health is closely followed in the United States, where "RBG" is a beloved figure among liberals.

Appointed for life as are all US Supreme Court judges, she has said that she will not retire until she no longer feels able to work.

The court's rulings provide a framework for many of the most compelling issues in American society from the right to abortion to gun control, minorities' rights and environmental protection.

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