On Friday the Supreme Court announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of “complications of metastatic pancreas cancer.”
“Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in a statement. “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.”
Ginsburg was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. She served as the senior member of the court’s liberal wing. She consistently delivered progressive votes on abortion rights, same-sex marriage, immigration, voting rights, affirmative action, and health care.
She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1930s and 40s and graduated from Cornell University in 1956. She enrolled at Harvard Law School, where she was one of just nine women in a class of about 500. She attended Harvard while also taking care of her first child.
When her husband, Martin Ginsburg, got a job at a New York law firm, they moved back to the city. She finished her degree at Columbia Law School. She graduated at the top of her class but found it difficult to find work.
“There was not a single firm in the entire city of New York that would offer me a job,” she recalled.
Ginsberg had developed a rock star type status. She had even been dubbed the “Notorious R.B.G.” When she spoke at events across the nation she was almost always greeted with a standing ovation.
Ginsburg battled five bouts of cancer. Her most recent battle with cancer took place in early 2020 when lesions were discovered on her liver. At the time she released a statement saying that chemotherapy was yielding “positive results” and that she was able to maintain an active daily routine.
“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 she told an audience that she liked to keep busy even when she was fighting cancer. “I found each time that when I’m active, I’m much better than if I’m just lying about and feeling sorry for myself,” she said.
Ginsburg was not a fan of Donald Trump. Before the election of Trump, Ginsburg called Trump a “faker” She also noted that he had “gotten away with not turning over his tax returns.” Because of her comments, Trump suggested that she recuse herself. She never did.
Back in 2011 then-president, Barack Obama singled out Ginsberg during a White House ceremony. “She’s one of my favorites,” he said, “I’ve got a soft spot for Justice Ginsburg.
Ginsberg’s death will give Donald Trump the opportunity to name her successor. There is no doubt the Trump administration will seize the opportunity despite being in the middle of the pandemic and a presidential election.
Trump has appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, and Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Whoever Trump picks to replace Ginsburg could easily make the Supreme Court a conservative institution.
U.S Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used Twitter to share his statement on Ginsburg’s death. McConnell tweeted “The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.”
McConnell added his statement to the tweet.
McConnell’s statement read:
“The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.
Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. she climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat on our nation’s highest court and into the pages of American history. Justice Ginsburg was thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service to the Supreme Court. Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues.”
McConnell then switched gears from honoring Ginsburg to attacking former President Barack Obama and discussing Trump’s nominee being voted for on the Senate floor.
“In the last midterm election, before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term/ We kept our promise. Since the 1880s no Senate has confirmed an opposite party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
“By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we keep our promise.
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Today is without a doubt am incredibly sad day for American justice.
For a look at the extraordinary life of Justice Ginsburg view the video below.