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US Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies aged 87

She died of pancreatic cancer.

Image: PA Wire

US SUPREME COURT judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. She was 87 years old. 

She was surrounded by her family at her home in Washington DC when she died from complications of metastatic pancreas cancer, the public information office of the Supreme Court confirmed. 

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

After a decades-long career fighting for gender equality, Ginsburg was appointed to the court by Bill Clinton in 1993. She was just the second woman to hold a position on ‘the highest court in the land’.

She served for more than 27 years. In recent years, she was recognised as the most senior member of the court’s liberal wing. 

“Our nation has lost a jurist of historic structure,” the US chief justice John G Roberts, Jr said today. 

“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 on justice.” 

Her death, leaving a seat vacant on the bench, will become a central issue to the US presidential election in 45 days. 

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According to NPR, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera in the past few days which said: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

With Ginsburg’s death, liberals will fear that Donald Trump will push a nominee of his choosing through the Republican-controlled Senate before January 2021. Equally, Democrats could be put on the back-foot in the campaign if the seat remains vacant and conservative-minded voters believe a vote for the incumbent could ensure Ginsburg’s successor would not have progressive leanings. 

Ginsburg, a feminist icon and champion of progressive causes, is survived by her two children, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her husband, Martin David Ginsburg, died in 2010. 

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