Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the justice who became an icon of progressives and feminists, has passed away from complications of metastatic cancer of the pancreas. Her passing was announced by the Supreme Court on Friday, who said that she died at home surrounded by family.
"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said. "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 tired and resolute champion of justice."
One of the chief architects in the fight for women's reproductive rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg has been in the Supreme Court for 27 years after being nominated by then-president Bill Clinton. Just days before her passing, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that i I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."
Her passing will inevitably lead to a tumultuous legal battle to nominate another Supreme Court Justice. Several contentious issues, from reproductive rights to protections for Dreamers, to others will hang in the balance of the Court. The Supreme Court currently has a split make-up but Chief Justice John Roberts has split from the conservative side in past. If another conservative judge winds up on the bench then Roberts will no longer have the deciding vote.
Ginsburg's death gives Republicans the chance to tighten their grip on the court. Another Trump appointment would give conservatives a 6-to-3 majority. And that would mean that even a defection on the right would leave conservatives with enough votes to prevail in the Obamacare case and many others.
From NPR :
By the time she was in her 80s, she had become something of a rock star to women of all ages. She was the subject of a hit documentary, a biopic, an operetta, merchandise galore featuring her "Notorious RBG" moniker, a Time magazine cover, and regular Saturday Night Live sketches.
On one occasion in 2016, Ginsburg got herself into trouble and later publicly apologized for disparaging remarks she made about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
But for the most part Ginsburg enjoyed her fame and maintained a sense of humor about herself.
Asked about the fact that she had apparently fallen asleep during the 2015 State of the Union address, Ginsburg did not take the Fifth, admitting that although she had vowed not to drink at dinner with the other justices before the speech, the wine had just been too good to resist. The result, she said, was that she was perhaps not an entirely "sober judge" and kept nodding off.
Many politicians and commentators are taking to Twitter to share their sympathies and applaud her achievements.
NBC News is getting ready to go live with the latest developments.