“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature, 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 of justice.”
Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement on Friday.
(CMR) US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an iconic champion of women's rights, has died of cancer at the age of 87 just six weeks before the US presidential election.
Ginsburg died on Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington, DC, surrounded by her family, the statement said.
Earlier this year, Ginsburg said she was undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer.
She was a prominent feminist who became a figurehead for liberals in the US. Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993. She was the second woman appointed to the Court and served more than 27 years, making her the oldest sitting justice on the Supreme Court.
US Supreme Court justices serve for life or until they choose to retire, and supporters had expressed concern that a more conservative justice could succeed Ginsburg.
Ginsberg's death will spark a political battle over who will succeed her, spurring debate about the future of the Supreme Court ahead of November's presidential election.
US President Donald Trump has appointed two judges since taking office, and the current court is seen to have a 5-4 conservative majority in most cases.
Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”