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How Reporters Described Ginsburg's Return to Bench

'She was first to jump in with a question, which she asked in a crisp, clear voice'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2019 2:24 PM CST
In this Dec. 15, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sits onstage during an event organized by the Museum of the City of New York at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Gibian)

(Newser) – Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday for the first time since her cancer surgery in December. With so much attention focused on the 85-year-old's health, it may not be surprising that coverage seemed to focus more on the judge's physical appearance than on the patent law case up first on the docket. A sampling:

  • The Hill: "Ginsburg looked strong on Tuesday, holding her head high, as she stepped up and took her seat beside Chief Justice John Roberts. Once arguments started, she was first to jump in with a question, which she asked in a crisp, clear voice. ... Ginsburg seemed to be sending a deliberate message in her appearance on the bench Tuesday: She’s not yet done."
  • Fox News: After she walked unassisted to her seat, Ginsburg "smiled slightly and looked about the crowded courtroom, wearing her traditional black robe and lace collar. The justice went on to ask a total of five questions to counsel on both sides of a patent law dispute, including the very first question. The questions were technical in nature. Her voice was strong, laced with her familiar Brooklyn accent."
  • The AP: "As she often does, Ginsburg asked the first question during the hourlong argument, and nothing about her appearance or demeanor seemed out of the ordinary. She went on to speak about a half dozen times."
  • The Washington Post: "For much of the time, Ginsburg remained still as her colleagues alternately leaned back in their seats, swiveled in place or rubbed their faces. Her head slightly bowed, she peered out over the court and appeared focused on the arguments. ... She entered and left the courtroom without any assistance."
(Read more Ruth Bader Ginsburg stories.)

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