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Ginsburg returns to Supreme Court for first time since cancer surgery, spokeswoman says

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses with other Justices of the United States Supreme Court during their official group photo at the Supreme Court on Nov. 30, 2018 in Washington. Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford

WASHINGTON - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the Supreme Court on Friday for the first time since she underwent surgery in December, a court spokeswoman said.

Ginsburg, 85, participated in a private conference with her colleagues as they considered which cases to accept for review or reject, said court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg.

One item on the agenda was whether the court should skip its normal procedures and consider whether the Trump administration may add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census form sent to every household in the country.

The court will meet in public on Tuesday for oral arguments, and Ginsburg's return to the court on Friday makes it likely she will be on the bench then.

Ginsburg missed January arguments after undergoing a pulmonary lobectomy Dec. 21 to remove two malignant nodules from her left lung. It was the first time the justice had missed oral arguments since she joined the court in 1993, even though she has had two bouts with cancer at that time.

After the December surgery, Ginsburg worked from home reviewing briefings and arguments in the January cases, and Chief Justice John Roberts said she would participate in deciding them. She has also been a part of previous private conferences and voted last week when the court granted an emergency order blocking implementation of a restrictive Louisiana abortion law.

Conspiracy theories about Ginsburg have proliferated on fringe right-wing social media, with some demanding to see "proof of life."

Ginsburg attended a concert about her life sponsored by the National Constitution Center on Feb. 4, but those suspicious about her said they did not believe media reports about her appearance.

This article was written by Robert Barnes, a reporter for The Washington Post.