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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on September 19, 2020 - Duration: 02:27s

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

[NFA] Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a stalwart liberal on the Supreme Court since 1993, died on Friday at age 87 of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Lisa Bernhard has more.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneering champion of women’s rights and the second woman ever to serve on the nation's highest court, died on Friday at her home in Washington surrounded by her family.

She was 87.

The cause was complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the Court said in a statement.

Rising from a working-class upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1993.

During her decades on the court, she provided key votes in landmark rulings securing equal rights for women, expanding gay rights and safeguarding abortion rights.

Her departure could dramatically alter the court’s ideological balance, which currently has a 5-4 conservative majority.

The Senate confirmation battle over a Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg is likely to be fierce - especially since Republicans blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee in an election year in 2016 because, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time, (quote), “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice.

Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” But on Friday night, McConnell made it clear that that rationale would not apply here, saying in a statement, (quote), “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” Supreme Court appointments require Senate confirmation, and Trump's fellow Republicans control the chamber.

Trump, seeking re-election on November 3, already has appointed two conservatives to lifetime posts on the court - Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

Known as the "Notorious RBG", Ginsburg had become something of a cult figure for liberals in recent years.

She was also the subject of the documentary “RBG” and the film “On the Basis of Sex,” both released in 2018.

Summing up her lifelong work toward gender equality, Ginsburg said in the documentary, (quote), “I ask no favor for my sex.

All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.” NPR reported that Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter just days before her death, saying her (quote) "most fervent wish" is to not be replaced until a new president is installed.

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