Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo courtesy of the Supreme Court of the United States via Wikipedia)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of gender rights and a justice on the United States Supreme Court, has died at the age of 87.

The Supreme Court announced on Friday Ginsburg had died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. Her death was caused by complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

Ginsburg, who had become a legal, cultural, and feminist icon in her 80s, served 27 years on the Supreme Court. Prior to her first judicial appointment in 1980, the late judge was a leader in the fight for gender equality. She was appointed to the nation’s highest court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.

Serving as the senior member of the court’s liberal wing for almost three decades, Ginsburg helped make decisions on numerous social issues including abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care and affirmative action.

More recently, Ginsburg had been the subject of a documentary, a biopic, an operetta, a Time magazine cover, and regular Saturday Night Live sketches.

Ginsburg’s death just over a month before the U.S. presidential election has already set in motion a political battle between the Democrats and Republicans over who will fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

Days prior to her death, Ginsburg dictated a statement and said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

However, within hours of Ginsburg’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement indicating that “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”