Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a leading liberal voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, has died at the age of 87 due to complications of metastatic cancer of the pancreas, the Court announced Friday evening. Immediately after the news broke, politicians and lawmakers paid tribute to the justice on social media.
Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote that “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.”
“As a young mom heading off to Rutgers law school, I saw so few examples of female lawyers or law professors,” Warren added. “But Ruthie blazed the trail. I’m forever grateful for her example — to me, and to millions of young women who saw her as a role model.”
“Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me,” Hillary Clinton wrote. “There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.”
Former President Bill Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, wrote that “Her 27 years on the Court exceeded even my highest expectations when I appointed her.”
“Her landmark opinions advancing gender equality, marriage equality, the rights of people with disabilities, the rights of immigrants, and so many more moved us closer to ‘a more perfect union,'” he added. “Her powerful dissents, especially her ringing defense of voting rights and other equal protection claims, reminded us that we walk away from our Constitution’s promise at our peril. And she did it all with kindness, grace, and calm, treating even her strongest adversaries with respect.”
Both President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also released statements lamenting Ginsburg’s death. Mr. Trump said in a statement that Ginsburg was “renowned for her brilliant mind and powerful dissents,” and added that her legal opinions “have inspired all Americans, and generations of legal minds.”
Biden expressed similar condolences, writing that Ginsburg was “an American hero, a giant of legal doctrine, and a relentless voice in the pursuit of that highest American ideal: Equal Justice Under Law.” But he also commented on the future of the court, writing that “The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.”
Senator Susan Collins described Ginsburg as “a trailblazer for women’s rights, a fierce champion for equality, and an extremely accomplished American who broke countless barriers in the field of law,” and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham wrote that “she served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also released a statement commemorating Ginsburg’s life, writing that “Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues.”
McConnell also said President Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg “will receive a vote on the floor” of the Senate, kicking off a heated political debate over the timing of her replacement.
Just days before her death, Ginsburg voiced a statement to her granddaughter saying, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” according to NPR.
Ginsburg had previously been treated for cancer in recent years over the years, including a pancreatic tumor in 2019 and growths in her lung in 2018. She also underwent chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer in July 2020.