“Our nation has lost a justice of historic[al] stature.”
Chief Justice John Roberts
This statement came after the announcement of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday. The court announced her death, and her family surrounded her at her home in Washington, DC, during her final hour.
The legal, cultural, and feminist icon died at 87 due to metastatic pancreatic cancer. Ruth Ginsburg has been in and out of the hospital over the past years due to cancer. She announced mid-July that she had been undergoing chemotherapy since May due to her liver cancer recurrence. As dedicated as she was, Ginsburg still worked at the Supreme Court.
Born Joan Ruth Bader, she was the second woman after Sandra Day O’Connor to serve on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg was appointed during the Clinton administration in 1993 and was generally viewed as a liberal.
She served the high court for 27 years and won several arguments before it. This rockstar performance led people to dub her as the “Notorious RBG” She went to Harvard then Columbia for law school and graduated tied to first at the latter school. She was the first woman to appear on two law reviews, specifically the Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review.
Early in her career, she faced rejection one after another due to her being a woman. This experience would later reflect on her work by being a fervent advocate of gender equality and women’s rights.
One of her notable works was co-founding the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. She had over 300 gender discrimination cases throughout the project, as the general counsel and the director.
Many politicians have posted their dedication towards the late Supreme Court Justice. Presidential nominee Joe Biden commended Ginsburg and said she’s a “giant in the legal profession” and a “beloved figure.”
Former President Barack Obama posted a lengthy statement on his Facebook account.
“[Ginsburg] helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality.”
Former President Barrack Obama
However, as her death was weeks before the elections, Ginsburg’s death will unfurl a political fight over the court’s future. Senator Mitch McConnel, Senate Majority Leader, said that he vowed to vote for Trump’s nominee on the Senate floor. If this became successful, it would sway the court to a 6-3 conservative majority that could stand for many years.
However, Ginsburg told her granddaughter that she wants her successor to be appointed by the next president.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Statement from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg