Ginsburg's health concerns caused a stir among Democrats who feared the political ramifications of a liberal justice departing, and prompted a flurry of conspiracy theories about her death from those affiliated with QAnon, a pro-Trump fringe group.
During the argument session that began at 10 a.m. ET, Ginsburg was the first justice to ask a question, according to a transcript released by the court.
The top court is divided 5-4 among Republican and Democratic appointees. Ginsburg, who will turn 86 next month, is a senior member of the court's liberal wing.
Though she did not appear at the court in person during her recovery, Ginsburg voted on cases, including with the court's majority earlier this month in a decision that prevented a restrictive Louisiana abortion law from going into effect.
On Friday, Ginsburg for the first time since her surgery attended a private conference in person, at which the court decided to take up a case regarding the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Neither Ginsburg's absence for health reasons nor her continued participation in cases while working from home, was unprecedented for a justice. Her return on Tuesday was largely expected by cancer doctors who said that a six-week recovery is about typical for the type of surgery that Ginsburg received.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist missed dozens of cases during his treatment for thyroid cancer in 2004 and 2005. Rehnquist went on to write majority opinions in four of the cases in which he missed oral arguments, according to a tally from The Heritage Foundation.
On Tuesday, the court heard arguments in a patent case, Return Mail Inc. v. USPS. An audio recording of the argument is expected to be published on the court's website at the end of the week. The only other case the justices will hear this week will be argued on Wednesday.
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