Ruth Bader Ginsburg Trends as Supreme Court Justice's Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Is Announced

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was at the forefront of conversation on social media on Friday—though the reason had nothing to do with politics.

Users took to Twitter to react to the news that the Supreme Court justice has been treated for pancreatic cancer in New York City. Reactions ran the gamut, ranging from short well wishes to expressions of concern that her seat to the Supreme Court could be hanging in the balance.

"I truly, utterly, absolutely, f***ing hate cancer and am sending Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her family my love and prayers. It is a very difficult thing to go through publicly and I wish her nothing but a swift and speedy recovery," conservative political commentator Meghan McCain tweeted.

McCain, the daughter of the late Senator John McCain, didn't comment on the possibility of ideologically reshaping the country's highest court if Ginsburg's seat were to become vacant due to her death or her retirement. However, that scenario has been a concern for Democrats since the 2016 presidential election.

"This may be the biggest and most portentous news on an already tumultuous day. All good wishes to Justice Ginsburg, of course. But this could be prelude to an absolutely titanic battle," David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, tweeted on Friday.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has appointed two Supreme Court justices. Five of the nine current Supreme Court justices are now considered conservatives.

Ginsburg, the oldest Supreme Court justice, has said she does not have any plans to retire and that she evaluates her ability to continue on the court annually, according to reports.

According to a statement released by the Supreme Court on Friday, Ginsburg was treated for a tumor, and treatment results show that "there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body."

The news about the malignant tumor on her pancreas comes less than a year after Ginsburg reportedly underwent surgery for early-stage lung cancer. It was the 86-year-old justice's fourth battle with cancer since 1999, according to CNN.

The full statement from the Supreme Court said:

"Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today completed a three-week course of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The focused radiation treatment began on August 5 and was administered on an outpatient basis to treat a tumor on her pancreas. The abnormality was first detected after a routine blood test in early July, and a biopsy performed on July 31 at Sloan Kettering confirmed a localized malignant tumor. As part of her treatment, a bile duct stent was placed. The Justice tolerated treatment well. She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule. The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans. No further treatment is needed at this time."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a lecture September 26, 2018 at Georgetown University
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a lecture September 26, 2018 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. Justice Ginsburg discussed Supreme Court cases from the 2017-2018 term at the lecture. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Trends as Supreme Court Justice's Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Is Announced | U.S.