Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. The Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, who had been serving on the nation’s highest court since appointed by former President Bill Clinton, was 87.
Ginsburg died on Friday, September 18, at her home in Washington, following complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas, the Supreme Court announced in a statement.
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said via NPR. “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 tired and resolute champion of justice.”
News of Ginsburg’s death comes after she was hospitalized at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for a potential infection on July 14. “She was initially evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. last night after experiencing fever and chills,” spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement, per CNN.
“She underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins this afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August,” Arberg continued. “The Justice is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.”
Ginsburg had faced multiple health issues in recent years, including acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition, for which she was treated in May. She was previously hospitalized after fracturing three ribs in a fall in November 2018 and while undergoing surgery to remove two cancerous nodules in her lung the next month. The beloved political figure also fought cancer four times, most recently in August 2019. Five months later, she revealed to CNN that she was officially cancer-free.
A Brooklyn native, Ginsburg studied at Cornell and graduated from Columbia Law School at the top of her class. She persevered through gender-based discrimination throughout her law career, eventually becoming Columbia Law School’s first female tenured professor. After arguing several gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, she became the court’s second female justice in 1993, following Sandra Day O’Connor.
Her popularity skyrocketed in recent years, thanks to the “Notorious R.B.G.” meme, the 2018 documentary RBG, and the 2018 biopic On the Basis of Sex, in which Oscar nominee Felicity Jones played the justice. In January 2019, the 36-year-old actress told Us Weekly exclusively that she was “insanely nervous” to meet the political icon.
“I felt like I wanted to curtsy,” Jones said. “Ruth was incredibly welcoming. We went to her office first and it felt like a very warm environment – covered in photographs of friends and family and all sorts of mementos that had been sent to her by her fans.”
Throughout her illustrious career, Ginsburg received a number of impressive accolades, including a place among TIME’s Most Influential People of 2015. At the time, her good friend the late Justice Antonin Scalia penned a tribute to his colleague.
“Having had the good fortune to serve beside her on both counts, I can attest that her opinions are always thoroughly considered, always carefully crafted and almost always correct (which is to say we sometimes disagree),” Scalia said of Ginsburg. “That much is apparent for all to see. What only her colleagues know is that her suggestions improve the opinions the rest of us write and that she is a source of collegiality and good judgment in all our work.”
Ginsburg was married to tax lawyer Martin D. Ginsburg, who died in 2010. She is survived by the couple’s two children, Jane and James, and her four grandchildren.
Hillary Clinton, Sophia Bush and More Stars React
Honoring Her Honor. Tributes poured in from stars after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, September 18, at age 87. The Supreme Court confirmed that the judge died at her home in Washington after complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. “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.” Ginsburg was hospitalized for a potential infection in July. “She underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins this afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August,” spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg told CNN in a statement at the time.
“I felt like I wanted to curtsy,” the actress, 36, exclusively told Us Weekly in January 2019. “Ruth was incredibly welcoming. We went to her office first and it felt like a very warm environment — covered in photographs of friends and family and all sorts of mementos that had been sent to her by her fans.” Scroll down to see tributes to Ginsburg.
Hillary Clinton “Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me,” the former Secretary of State tweeted. “There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.” Meghan McCain The View co-host shared her condolences. “Rest in peace Ruth Bader Ginsburg - a true legend, an iconoclast, a glass ceiling breaker, and a feminist icon. She changed the world in so many incredible ways,” she wrote via Twitter. “Prayers, love, and strength to her family during this dark time. I hope you have fun with [late Supreme Court Justice] Antonin Scalia in heaven...” Kerry Washington “Her rest is earned,” the actress tweeted. “It is our turn to fight.” George Takei “The way to honor her life and her legacy is to respect her dying wish, which was to ask that her seat not be filled until a new president is sworn in,” the actor tweeted. “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg [sic], for all you have given us all these decades, I stand ready to fight for your final request.” Rob Reiner Reiner made a political plea amid the news: “Today couldn’t be sadder. A brilliant Jurist, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is gone. We must fight not to allow an Impeached Criminal to take her seat.” Patton Oswalt “YEP. Freak out tonight, pour one out, back at it twice as hard tomorrow. #RBG,” the actor tweeted. Sophia Bush The actress did not hold back on her raw reaction. “Truly and utterly gutted. And grateful. And in awe. And just so devastated,” she wrote on Twitter. “An icon and a hero. #RBG.” Stephen King “Rest In Peace Ruth Bader Ginsberg. [sic] A giant,” he tweeted. “Make sure another [Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh doesn't replace her. Please vote blue.” Bradley Whitford The West Wing alum pointed out the timing of Ginsburg’s death: “She kept herself alive until the day voting began. For us.”