Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Supreme Court Judge Has Died at the Age of 87

In a statement, the court stated that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, surrounded by a family, died in her home in Washington, D.C. She was 87. 

death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg boston globe (1)
Why is Ruth Bader Ginsburg important? PHOTO via @Boston Globe

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has profound implications for both the court and the country. 

Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a firefighter who became a legal, cultural and feminine icon in her 80s, died Friday. The Supreme Court declared her death to be due to complications caused by metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

  • For 25 years Ruth Bader Ginsburg was at the federal bench.
  • “Our nation has lost a historic justice,” said Chief Justice John Roberts.
  • For the court and the country, Ginsburg’s death will have a deep effect.
  • She became the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.
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In a statement, the court said Ginsburg, who was surrounded by family, died at home in Washington, D.C. She was eighty-seven.

“Our nation has lost a historic justice,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. “At the Supreme Court we have lost a beloved colleague, and today we mourn, but we hope that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we know her, the tireless and determined champion of justice.”

Ginsburg, the architect of the legal struggle for women’s rights in the 1970s, later served on the country’s highest court for 27 years, becoming its most important member.

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Her death will necessarily put in place what promises to be a disastrous and tumultuous political struggle over who is to succeed her and will make the presidential campaign focus on the vacancy of the Supreme Court. 

A few days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg commissioned this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spora: “My greatest wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

She knew what was coming. For the court and the country, Ginsburg’s death will have a deep effect. Inside the court, not only is the head of the Liberal faction gone but as the court opens a new post, the chief justice will no longer have the controlling vote in closely contested cases.

Although Roberts has a consistently conservative record in most cases, he broke away from fellow conservatives at some important point this year and voted with the Liberals, for example, to protect the so-called Dreamers, at least temporarily, from being deported by Trump executives.

To establish a major abortion prototype and to establish barriers to large church meetings during coronavirus outbreaks. But since Ginsburg is gone, there is no clear court majority for those decisions.

Upcoming political war

week after the upcoming presidential election, the court is scheduled to hear for the third time the Republicans’ challenge to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care.

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In 2012, the High Court upheld the law in a 5-4 judgment, giving Roberts a decisive vote and writing a majority opinion. But this time the effect may be different.

The death of Ginsberg gives Republicans the chance by a further appointment from President Trump to tighten their grasp on the court so that the Conservatives are 6-3 in favour. Even a defect on the right means that the Conservatives will get enough votes to win the Obama Care case and many more.

At the centre of the battle to achieve it will be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In 2016, he took an unprecedented step in modern times: he refused for almost a year to allow President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court candidate to be considered.

After that, McConnell’s justice is the upcoming presidential election, which will allow voters to weigh in on what kind of justice they want, he said. But now, with the tables back, McConnell has made it clear that he will not follow the same course.

Even if Trump loses his re-election attempt, he will immediately try to push a Trump candidate to ensure a conservative justice to fill Ginsburg’s liberal shoes. Asked what he would do in a situation like this, McConnell said: “Oh, we’ll fill it.”

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So what’s going to happen in the coming weeks is plain-knuckle politics on the platform of the presidential election, large-scale writing. It would be a fight that Ginsburg wanted to avoid, as Judge John Paul Stevens had said shortly before her death that he would serve as long as he had served – until he was 90 years old.

Why is Ruth Bader Ginsburg important?

For 25 years Ruth Bader Ginsburg was at the federal bench. In 1993, she became the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States

Throughout that time she has been a leading voice for gender equality, women’s interests and civil rights and freedoms.

What lawsuits did Ginsburg argue?

She wrote the Court’s opinion in 515 (1996) that it violated the Virginia Military Institute’s (VMI) male-only admission policy violating the Equal Protection Section of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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