Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an equality icon and groundbreaking member of the Supreme Court, died at 87 on Friday after a battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Multiple reports spread on Friday evening that the Supreme Court justice had died after a series of medical scares and what was officially reported as complications from cancer.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 18, 2020
According to an NPR report on Friday, Ginsburg asked not to be replaced on the court until after the election in November.
BREAKING NEWS from @NPR : Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday at age 87 from complications of cancer.
In a statement dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death, she said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new President is installed.”
— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) September 18, 2020
Reaction to the news was immediate, with “no no no” trending on Twitter immediately after news of her death spread. The site’s “What’s Happening” tab actually connected the phrase with news of Ginsburg’s death. The court itself also shared a statement about her passing on Friday.
From the New York Times:
“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.”
The development will give President Trump the opportunity to name her replacement, and Senate Republicans have promised to try to fill the vacancy even in the waning days of his first term. The confirmation battle, in the midst of a pandemic and a presidential election, is sure to be titanic.
Ginsburg’s death, while yet to be properly processed by the legal community and nation as a whole, sets up a situation similar to Barack Obama’s final year in office where he nominated Merrick Garland for a spot on the court. Congress, led by Mitch McConnell, refused to consider the nomination until after the election. That was won by Donald Trump, who nominated conservative judge Neil Gorsuch, further swinging the court to the right later in his term with the controversial appointment of Brett Kavanaugh.
If you’d like to learn more about the remarkable life of the late Supreme Court justice, we highly suggest the 2015 biography by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the outstanding documentary, RBG, which can be currently streamed via Hulu.