Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at age 87

(CNN) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, the court announced. She was 87.

The judge, only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, passed away Friday evening, due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C. following complications with her illness.

Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ginsburg’s passing. “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,” Roberts said in a statement.

Diagnosed with cancer four times, Ginsburg had had numerous health scares, including several recent hospitalizations. Her death will open a pivotal seat on the court less than 50 days before the election.

The US Supreme Court (front left to right) Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., (back left to right) Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh pose for their official portrait at the Supreme Court building November 2018

NPR reported that in her final days, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera declaring, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” NPR reported.

Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and had repeatedly vowed to stay on as long as her health permitted, even when some liberals pressured her to step down during the Obama administration so a Democratic president could be guaranteed to appoint her successor.

“Tell me who the president could have nominated this spring that you would rather see on the court than me?” was the justice’s tart response at the time.

She once called then-presidential candidate Donald Trump a “faker” and publicly criticized NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand during the national anthem. She later apologized for the criticism of Trump and of Kaepernick.

Ginsburg, who was only the second female justice to sit on the nation’s highest court, was a fierce crusader for women’s rights. She credited her mother, who died of cancer a day before Ginsburg graduated from high school, with influencing her advocacy for women.

“My mother told me two things constantly: One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The latter was something very unusual … because for most girls growing up in the 1940s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your ‘M.R.S.,'” Ginsburg said in an appearance at Duke University in 2005.

“She fought for the unheard, and through her decisions, she changed the course of American history,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted Friday. “We can never repay what she has given us, but we all can honor her legacy by working toward true equality, together.”

“When we asked her several years ago how she wanted she wanted to be remembered,” RBG filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen said in a statement Friday, “she said with characteristic modesty, ‘Just as someone who did whatever she could, with whatever limited talent she had, to move society along in the direction I would like it to be for my children and grandchildren.'”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s high school, James Madison High School in Brooklyn, just posted about the late Supreme Court justice.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of JMHS alum Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her advocacy and dedication to civil liberties, and her tremendous legacy, will live on in the hallways of Madison through our Law Institute,” the school wrote.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg planned to retire under Hillary Clinton if she was elected president, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg said this evening.

“She loved her job,” said Totenberg. “She had planned, in fact, to retire and be replaced by a nominee of the first woman president because she really thought Hillary Clinton would be elected.”

“Fate dealt her… the cards not that way and she just soldiered on,” Totenberg added.

RIP Justice Ginsburg.

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