Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and Liberal Icon, Dies at 87
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died "surrounded by her family at her home," the Supreme Court said in a statement
A slew of politicians and celebrities took to social media on Friday night to mourn the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died due to complications from metastatic cancer at the age of 87.
According to a statement released by the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was surrounded by family when she died at her home in Washington, D.C.
"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague," Chief Justice John G. Roberts said in a statement. "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."
After news of her death was made public, politicians from both sides of the aisle mourned the justice's death.
Though caught off guard by the news after delivering a lengthy campaign speech, President Donald Trump spoke highly of Ginsburg when asked by a reporter before he boarded Air Force One.
"She led an amazing life," Trump, 74, said. "What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not ... I'm actually saddened to hear that."
getty images (2) President Donald Trump and late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In a statement, Trump later said that Ginsburg was "renowned for her brilliant mind," and that she "demonstrated that one can disagree without being disagreeable toward one's colleagues or different points of view."
"A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg battled cancer, and other very long odds, throughout her remarkable life," he added. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ginsburg family and their loved ones during this difficult time. May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world."
Statement from the President on the Passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pic.twitter.com/N2YkGVWLoF— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
Current Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden said in statement, "Tonight our nation mourns an American hero, a giant of legal doctrine, and a relentless voice in the pursuit of that highest American ideal: Equal Justice Under Law."
"Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us," he added. "She fought for all of us. As a young attorney, she persisted through every challenge that an unequal system placed in her way to change the laws of our land and lead the legal charge to advance equal rights for women."
Biden also recalled presiding over Ginsburg's confirmation hearing as a senator in 1993, saying that she "practiced the highest American ideals as Justice" and "stood for all of us."
"It's hard to believe it was my honor to preside over her confirmation hearing," Biden, 77, said. "In the decades since, she has been absolutely consistent and reliable and a voice for freedom and opportunity for everyone."
Biden added: "She never failed. She was fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of ... the civil rights of everyone."
Terry Ashe/Getty Images Ruth Bader Ginsburg
"Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg," Bush said. "She dedicated many of her 87 remarkable years to the pursuit of justice and equality, and she inspired more than one generation of women and girls."
Bush, 74, added: "Justice Ginsburg loved our country and the law. Laura and I are fortunate to have known this smart and humorous trailblazer, and we send our condolences to the Ginsburg family."
Former President Jimmy Carter also released a statement on behalf of he and his wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
"Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg," Carter, 95, said. "A powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality, she has been a beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career. I was proud to have appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980."
Carter added: "We join countless Americans in mourning the loss of a truly great woman. We will keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
"Justice Ginsburg inspired the generations who followed her, from the tiniest trick-or-treaters to law students burning the midnight oil to the most powerful leaders in the land. Michelle and I admired her greatly, we’re profoundly thankful for the legacy she left this country, and we offer our gratitude and our condolences to her children and grandchildren tonight, "said Obama, 59. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals. That’s how we remember her."
"We have lost one of the most extraordinary Justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and landmark opinions moved us closer to a more perfect union. And her powerful dissents reminded us that we walk away from our Constitution’s promise at our peril," wrote Clinton, 74.
Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Attorney General Bill Barr paid tribute to the legal mind in a statement released via the U.S. Justice Department. Calling hers one the "great lives in the history of American law," Barr said Ginsburg was "a brilliant and successful litigator, an admired court of appeals judge, and a profoundly influential Supreme Court Justice."
"For all her achievements in those roles, she will perhaps be remembered most for inspiring women in the legal profession and beyond," Barr's statement continued. "She and I did not agree on every issue, but her legal ability, personal integrity, and determination were beyond doubt. She leaves a towering legacy, and all who seek justice mourn her loss.”
Others who honored the justice via public statements or on Twitter include former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Christopher Scalia, the son of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016 while serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
I'm very sad to hear about the passing of my parents' good friend, and my father's wonderful colleague, Justice Ginsburg. May her memory be a blessing. I'd like to share a couple of passages that convey what she meant to my dad.../3— Christopher J. Scalia (@cjscalia) September 18, 2020
Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 19, 2020
Ruthie was my friend and I will miss her terribly. The t-shirts simply labeled “RBG” made her notorious. But it was her wit, her tenaciousness, and her skill as a jurist that made her an icon.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 19, 2020
Tonight, the flags are flying at half staff over the Capitol to honor the patriotism of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Every woman and girl, and therefore every family, in America has benefitted from her brilliance.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 19, 2020
America lost a giant. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was shunned from courtrooms when she began her career because she was a woman.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 19, 2020
But she persisted, blazing a trail for millions of women and others who had been excluded or oppressed.
RBG is a lioness of the law. She is irreplaceable.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg led a remarkable life of consequence. She worked with passion & conviction, inspired many women, offered hope to other cancer survivors.— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 19, 2020
Prayers to her loved ones.
May She Rest In Peace.
Justice Ginsburg fought tirelessly for gr8er justice, equality &opportunity for all ppl. She was a trailblazer in so many ways &for so many ppl Her sharp legal mind, tenacity &resilience leaves a remarkable imprint on our nation Barbara + I join our nation in mourning her passing— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 19, 2020
It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 19, 2020
Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court.
We have lost a giant in the history of our nation with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 19, 2020
It is heartbreaking that in her final moments she was, as are many others, preoccupied with what would happen after her passing.
I want to make one thing clear: we can, and must, fight. https://t.co/QEDDFtSwmK
A profound and fearless advocate for women, equality, and justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s impact will undoubtedly be felt for generations. My thoughts are with her family, colleagues, and all who were inspired by her lifetime of service.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 19, 2020
It wasn't only politicians who mourned the loss of Ginsburg, a champion of women's rights who was first appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993.
"Her rest is earned," Washington, 43, wrote on Twitter. "It is our turn to fight."
"Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who devoted her entire career to fighting for equal justice for women, because she knew it would improve life for everyone," Gates, 64, said in his statement. "America is a better place because of her service. I am inspired by her life and legacy."
Sharing a photo of herself with the late justice, Barbra Streisand wrote, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a giant of the Supreme Court. She was an inspiration to legal scholars and women. As for her replacement, Mitch McConnell set the precedent: no nominees even get a hearing this close to an election."
Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also released a statement expressing sadness at the loss, but added that a nominee to replace the justice — appointed by President Donald Trump — "will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."
The statement is noteworthy given McConnell's past stance on nominating new Supreme Court Justices so close to a presidential election.
When Justice Scalia died 269 days before the 2016 election, McConnell declared it too close to Election Day to consider a replacement, refusing to allow consideration of then-President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee for nearly a year.
The November 3 election between Trump and Biden is 45 days away.
BREAKING: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in statement on passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, says, "President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." https://t.co/ITHpol2lr5 pic.twitter.com/7ijpnbFv8U— ABC News (@ABC) September 19, 2020
In his statement regarding Ginsburg's passing, Biden offered a strong rebuke of McConnell's wishes.
"Tonight and in the coming days, we should focus on the loss of the justice and her legacy," Biden said. "But there is no doubt. Let me be clear: the voters should pick the President and the President should pick the Justice for the Senate to consider."
Biden continued: "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016, when there were almost ten months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today."
Just days before her death, NPR reported that Ginsburg told her granddaughter it was her "fervent wish" not to be replaced "until a new president is installed."
A private interment service for Ginsburg will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court said.