Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, A Feminist Icon, Dies At 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, A Feminist Icon, Dies At 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, DC.

Image Source: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the New-York Historical Society on April 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a legal, cultural and feminist icon, has died at 87. The Supreme Court announced that she passed away due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. She was surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, DC. A private interment service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery reports CNN. Ginsburg, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton, is known for her progressive stance on contentious issues such as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care, and affirmative action.  She even achieved rock star status, with many dubbing her as "Notorious RBG." Ginsburg was greeted with standing ovations at events she attended by liberal audiences when she spoke about the law, her well-known exercise routine and her vocal and fiery opinions.



"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature," said Chief Justice John Roberts. "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." Her death comes just two months before the 2020 Presidential elections, especially when conservative groups (including the Republicans and Trump) are trying their best to reverse some of the progress achieved over the years.Her death also leaves a spot in the Supreme Court, carving open a political fight less than seven weeks before the election.



Ginsburg's granddaughter revealed that her final wish was that she wanted her replacement to be appointed by the next president. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg dictated to granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death, reports NPR. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time in moving towards replacing Ginsburg by stating that the Republican president would nominate someone to the Supreme Court pending Senate approval. "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," he said. Donald Trump paid tribute to the Supreme Court Justice when he heard the news of her death.



"She led an amazing life. What else can you say?" said Trump. "She was an amazing woman whether you agree or not she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life." Former President Obama held Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in high regard, singling her out as "one of my favorites." In 2011, he said, "I've got a soft spot for Justice Ginsburg." She was known as a "judge's judge" for giving clarity on various positions and guidance of lower courts. "It makes absolute sense that Justice Ginsburg has become an idol for younger generations," said Justice Elena Kagan said at an event at the New York Bar Association in 2014.



"Her impact on America and American law has been extraordinary. As a litigator and then as a judge, she changed the face of American anti-discrimination law. She can take credit for making the law of this country work for women and in doing so she made possible my own career," added Kagan. Ginsburg served as an advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union and worked towards ensuring that the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection applied to gender, prior to her stint at the Supreme Court. "I had the good fortune to be alive and a lawyer in the late 1960s when, for the first time in the history of the United States, it became possible to urge before courts, successfully, that society would benefit enormously if women were regarded as persons equal in stature to men," said Ginsburg in her commencement speech in 2002.



One of her major contributions was in the United States v. Virginia case, when she argued against the all-male admissions policy at the state-funded Virginia Military Institute. She called the institute's ban on women applicants unconstitutional. "The constitutional violation, in this case, is the categorical exclusion of women from an extraordinary educational opportunity afforded men," she wrote in '96. "I would just like people to think of me as a judge who did the best she could with whatever limited talent I had to keep our country true to what makes it a great nation and to make things a little better than they might have been if I hadn't been there," said Ginsburg at an event at the University of California Hastings College of Law in 2011.



Ginsburg suffered five bouts of cancer but confirmed in July that she was still an active member of the court. "I have often said I would remain a member of the Court as long as I can do the job full steam," she said in July 2020. "I remain fully able to do that." In 2019, Ginsburg said she preferred to keep herself busy, even while fighting cancer. Justice Ginsburg was married to Martin Ginsburg, a noted tax attorney, who passed away in 2010. The pair met during their time at Cornell University. She is survived by two children, Jane C. Ginsburg and James Steven Ginsburg. 




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