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Sept. 18, 2020, 10:10 p.m. EDT

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead at 87

Ginsburg, an equal-rights champion, became in 1993 the second woman to serve on the high court

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By Associated Press


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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prepares to administer the Oath of Allegiance to candidates for U.S. citizenship at the New-York Historical Society on April 10, 2018.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s-rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Ginsburg announced in July that she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lesions on her liver, the latest of her several battles with cancer.

Ginsburg spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court’s liberal wing and became something of a rock star to her admirers. Young women especially seemed to embrace the court’s Jewish grandmother, affectionately calling her the Notorious RBG, for her defense of the rights of women and minorities, and the strength and resilience she displayed in the face of personal loss and health crises.

Those health issues included five bouts with cancer beginning in 1999, falls that resulted in broken ribs, insertion of a stent to clear a blocked artery and assorted other hospitalizations after she turned 75.

She resisted calls by liberals to retire during Barack Obama’s presidency at a time when Democrats held the Senate and a replacement with similar views could have been confirmed. Instead, President Donald Trump will almost certainly try to push Ginsburg’s successor through the Republican-controlled Senate — and move the conservative court even more to the right.


Associated Press
Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses in June 1993 with the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and now the Democratic presidential nominee.

Upon the sudden death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, Republicans including Sens. Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell stated within hours that the next president, with just 11 months — 269 days — left in Obama’s second term, should instead nominate a successor.

Election Day 2020 is 46 days away.

McConnell, as the chamber’s Republican leader, chose not to bring to the Senate floor Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, chief judge since 2013 of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and considered a moderate selection whose nomination would be difficult to oppose on merit. Garland’s nomination expired in January 2017.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer referenced in a Friday tweet McConnell’s 2016 argument that the American people should, through their votes in a presidential election that same year, have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice, but McConnell shortly afterward put out a statement indicating that a Trump-picked successor to Ginsburg would, in fact, get a Senate vote.

Ginsburg reportedly dictated the following statement to her granddaughter before her death: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

News Pulse: McConnell says a Trump pick to replace Ginsburg on Supreme Court would get Senate vote

MarketWatch contributed.

Key Words (September 2019): Ruth Bader Ginsburg reveals why she didn’t retire when Obama could nominate her successor

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