US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Sat, 19 Sep 2020, 12:23PM
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at age 87. Photo / Getty Images
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at age 87. Photo / Getty Images

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Sat, 19 Sep 2020, 12:23PM

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the US feminist icon, has died at 87.

The US Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from cancer.

Ginsburg, the court's second female justice, died at her home in Washington.

In July she announced 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 defence 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 hospitalisations 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.

Ginsburg was a mother of two, an opera lover and an intellectual who watched arguments behind oversized glasses for many years, though she ditched them for more fashionable frames in her later years. At argument sessions in the ornate courtroom, she was known for digging deep into case records and for being a stickler for following the rules.

She argued six key cases before the court in the 1970s when she was an architect of the women's rights movement. She won five.

Her appointment by President Bill Clinton in 1993 was the first by a Democrat in 26 years. She initially found a comfortable ideological home somewhere left of center on a conservative court dominated by Republican appointees. Her liberal voice grew stronger the longer she served.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg does not need a seat on the Supreme Court to earn her place in the American history books," Clinton said at the time of her appointment. "She has already done that."

- with AP

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