WASHINGTON, DC–September 18th,2020–Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. She was 87 years old. Justice Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York, March 15, 1933.
Although her death was not unexpected, Twitter erupted with grief and eulogies with many distinguished legal figures and politicians quick to comment.
My feelings here do not matter, but I cannot, will not hide that my heart is breaking. https://t.co/Lsz1rAmJcQ
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) September 18, 2020
Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993. She was only the second woman appointed to the Court and was the oldest sitting justice on the Supreme Court, having served 27 years on the nation’s highest court.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. said of Justice Ginsburg: “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
Ginsberg was a prominent feminist who became a figurehead for liberals in the US and her work on behalf of women’s rights, before she joined the Supreme Court was hugely influential in creating the world as we know it today. Her numerous legal victories discouraged legislatures from treating women and men differently under the law.
On the Supreme Court she was seen as a liberal, and had stated that she believed on of the worst Supreme Court decisions of all time, which she voted against, was in Citizens United v. FEC (2010), which permitted corporations to spend unlimited money to influence elections in the United States.
In a rare interview she spoke about her concerns for the future of the United States to filmmaker Olly Lambert for the BBC’s flagship Newsnight program in 2017.
As one of four liberal justices on the court, her health was watched closely. Ginsberg’s death raises the prospect of US President Donald Trump trying to expand its slender conservative majority.
Republicans will want to appoint a third Donald Trump selection before a possible new Democratic administration takes over in January if Trump fails to be re-elected, which appears likely at this time, but Democrats will be keen to keep the position open until after the New Year, wanting to appoint a justice more to their liking.
US Supreme Court justices serve for life or until they choose to retire, and supporters had expressed concern that a more conservative justice could succeed Ginsburg.
Previously the Senate has been reluctant to appoint Supreme Court judges in the last year of office of a president, but this time it could be different.