Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies of Cancer at 87

September 18, 2020 Updated: September 19, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a member of the court’s liberal wing, died at 87, the court announced late Friday.

Ginsburg died due to complications from pancreatic cancer, the court said. She was surrounded by her family at her home in Washington.

Ginsburg had dealt with a number of health issues in recent months, having been hospitalized for various issues several times. She is survived by two children, Jane Carol Ginsburg and James Steven Ginsburg, and four grandchildren.

“Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. “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.”

A private service for the deceased justice will be held at Arlington National Ceremony in Virginia.

Epoch Times Photo
People gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the steps in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, on Sept. 18, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies At 87
The national flag flies at half staff as people gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the steps in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, on Sept. 18, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Ginsburg was appointed to the court in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton.

Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera while on her deathbed: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg told Spera, reported NPR. It’s not clear if that meant until after the November election is over or if President Donald Trump is reelected and leaves office in 2025.

Ginsburg’s death now gives Republicans and Trump the opportunity to add another judge to the Supreme Court, which had a 5-4 conservative majority prior to Ginsburg’s death.

supreme court justice Ruth Ginsberg
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court building in Washington on June 1, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement Friday evening that “the Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” and that “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Ginsburg spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court’s left wing and became something of a star to her admirers. Young women especially seemed to embrace her, calling her the “Notorious RBG” on Twitter.

Her 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 other hospitalizations after she turned 75.

She resisted calls by some liberals to retire during former President Barack Obama’s presidency at a time when Democrats held the Senate and a replacement with similar views could have been confirmed.

Trump on Sept. 9 expanded the list of judges and others he’d choose from if a vacancy on the Supreme Court arose, adding 20 people.

“Apart from matters of war and peace, the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice is the most important decision an American president can make,” Trump said at the White House in Washington.

See the list below.

Bridget Shelton Bade of Arizona, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
Daniel Cameron, Kentucky attorney general
Paul Clement of Virginia, former U.S. solicitor general
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Stuart Kyle Duncan of Louisiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
Steven Engel of Washington, assistant attorney general
Noel Francisco of New York, former U.S. solicitor general
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)
James Ho of Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
Gregory Katsas of Virginia, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Barbara Lagoa of Florida, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
Christopher Landau of Maryland, U.S. ambassador to Mexico
Carlos Muñiz of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida
Martha Pacold of Illinois, District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Peter Phipps of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
Sarah Pitlyk of Missouri, District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
Allison Jones Rushing of North Carolina, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
Kate Todd of Virginia, deputy assistant to the president
Lawrence VanDyke of Nevada, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

The list before the additions:

Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia
Charles Canady of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida
Steven Colloton of Iowa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
Britt Grant of Georgia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
Raymond Gruender of Missouri, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Thomas Lee of Utah, Supreme Court of Utah
Edward Mansfield of Iowa, Supreme Court of Iowa
Federico Moreno of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Kevin Newsom of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
William Pryor Jr. of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
David Stras of Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
Timothy Tymkovich of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (retired)
Don Willett of Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma

Zachary Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.