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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, Dies at Age 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, Dies at Age 87


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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a groundbreaking attorney, a lifelong advocate for gender equality, and a civil servant who served as a justice on the Supreme Court for 27 years, died September 18, 2020 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87 years old.

Her death marked the end of an era for a court indelibly shaped both by her liberal views and her commitment to judicial restraint. Known for both her unwavering beliefs and taste for compromise, Ginsburg's self-effacing ways and pop culture prowess expanded how the public thought not just of women in power, but the role of a Supreme Court judge.

READ MORE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Landmark Opinions on Women's Rights

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 15, 1933. Her father, Nathan Bader, was born near Odessa, Ukraine, which was part of the Russian Empire at the time. He emigrated to the United States when he was 13. Her mother, Celia Amster Bader, was the daughter of recent Polish immigrants. Both of Ginsburg's parents were Jewish.

Ginsburg was originally named Joan, but her parents began calling her by her middle name, Ruth, in elementary school so she could avoid being confused with other students who shared her name. Ginsburg lost her older sister, Marilyn, who died at age six of meningitis.

Her mother deeply influenced her life. Ginsburg’s early memories include going to the library with her and bargain shopping so the family could save money for her education. Celia had been unable to attend college because her family opted to send her brother instead. As a result, she impressed the importance of education on her daughter. She died of cervical cancer the day before Ginsburg graduated from high school.

A high-achieving student, Ginsburg majored in government at Cornell University. As a student during the height of McCarthyism and the Red Scare, she became increasingly interested in how she could affect change as an attorney. “The McCarthy era was a time when courageous lawyers were using their legal training in support of the right to think and speak freely,” she later recalled.

Ruth Bader married Martin David Ginsburg, whom she had met at Cornell, shortly after receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1954. She had her first child, Jane, in 1955. At the time, she worked at a Social Security office in Lawton, Oklahoma, near where her husband, who was in the U.S. Army, had been posted. She had been rated for a GS-5 job, but when she mentioned she was pregnant, she was given a GS-2 job as a typist. It was her first experience with on-the-job discrimination because of her gender. While working in the Social Security office, she also became aware of how hard it was for Native Americans to receive Social Security. Both forms of discrimination stuck with her and helped form the basis of her future career.

After her husband finished his Army service, Ginsburg enrolled at Harvard Law School. In a class of over 500, she was one of just nine women. At Harvard, she was mocked by professors for being a woman and even prevented from accessing library materials that were housed in a men’s-only room. In 1958, she transferred to Columbia University when her husband, who had graduated from Harvard Law School a year ahead of her, got a job at a New York law firm. Ginsburg tied for first in her class at Columbia Law School and received her J.D. in 1959.

But during the early 1960s, even an elite law degree was not enough to help a woman receive a job at a high-powered law firm. Ginsburg struggled to find employment. She also looked for jobs as a law clerk to a judge, but was turned down from a job with Judge Felix Frankfurter despite a strong recommendation because she was a woman and mother.

“I was not really surprised that Frankfurter wasn’t up to hiring a woman,” Ginsburg later recalled. Finally, she got a clerkship with Judge Edmund L. Palmieri. Afterward, she worked on the Columbia Project on International Procedure and worked in Sweden. Then she tried to get a job on the Columbia Law School faculty, but to no avail. Instead, she took a job on the faculty of Rutgers, where she was paid a lower salary than her male colleagues. She had her second child, James, in 1965.

Her time at Rutgers was to determine the course of her life. While teaching there, the New Jersey branch of the ACLU began referring cases that included gender discrimination to Ginsburg. “Well, sex discrimination was regarded as a woman’s job,” she later recalled, noting that her students prompted her to tackle the issue. She began to teach about gender discrimination and, in 1971, took on a seminal case on the topic. Ginsburg did not argue Reed v. Reed, a case that involved a man who was appointed his son’s executor because of a law that discriminated against women, before the United States Supreme Court. But she wrote the brief, and the ACLU won the case.

Soon, Ginsburg had taken on a role at the newly founded ACLU Women’s Rights Project. In 1972, the same year she helped cofound the project, she became the first woman to be granted tenure at Columbia Law School.

Ginsburg chose her battles wisely, often using male plaintiffs to chip away at laws that discriminated against women. She had a strong ally in the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provided for equal protection by all U.S. laws for all U.S. citizens. Slowly but surely, she used the Equal Protection Clause to attack gender discrimination.

Among her victories were lawsuits that affirmed equality in governmental benefits for people who had served in the military (Frontiero v. Richardson, 1973), surviving spouse benefits (Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, 1975), and jury service (Duren v. Missouri, 1979). Ultimately, Ginsburg argued over 300 gender discrimination cases and appeared before the Supreme Court in six.

In 1980, President Carter nominated Ginsburg to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 after being nominated by President Clinton. During her confirmation hearings, she notably declined to answer several questions that might at some point come before the Supreme Court, a move now dubbed “the Ginsburg precedent.”

As an Associate Justice, Ginsburg became the second woman and the first Jewish woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Though she espoused liberal views, she was known for her judicial restraint. However, she did not shy away from forceful dissents when warranted, objecting to, among other issues, the Supreme Court’s rejection of Lily Ledbetter’s challenge of pay disparity and its decision in the Bush v. Gore lawsuit that decided the 2000 presidential election. She became known for wearing a “dissent collar,” a beaded jabot, when she dissented to the Supreme Court’s decisions.

She also delivered some of the Supreme Court’s most influential majority opinions, such as United States v. Virginia (1996), which forced the Virginia Military Institute to abandon a policy that excluded women from attending, and Olmstead v. L.C., a 1999 case that affirmed the rights of people with disabilities to live within community settings instead of being forced to live in institutions. She wrote nearly 200 opinions during her time on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg was also active outside of the Supreme Court. In 1997, she administered Vice President Al Gore’s oath of office to his second term, becoming the third woman to do so. She spoke regularly at colleges and universities, and published the best-selling book My Own Words in 2016. In her private time, she enjoyed opera and reading mysteries. She made fast friendships with some of her colleagues, including Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who was often her opponent inside the court.

Later in life, Ginsburg achieved a degree of pop culture recognition unusual for a Supreme Court judge, with books like 2015’s Notorious RBG, a 2018 biopic, On the Basis of Sex, and comedy send-ups by Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon reinforcing her widespread fame.

In 1999, Ginsburg was diagnosed with colon cancer. Though she did not miss any bench time as she recovered from surgery and further treatment, she felt weak and began to work out with a trainer. That developed into a regular fitness routine that involved daily push-ups and planks. Despite later bouts with pancreatic cancer, an arterial stent, fractured ribs, and lung cancer, which caused her to miss bench sessions for the first time in her Supreme Court career, she continued working through the end of her life.

Ginsburg’s husband died of cancer in 2010. She is survived by her daughter, Jane C. Ginsburg, and her son, James Steven Ginsburg.

A reassessment of Ginsburg’s groundbreaking career—and a heated contest for her open seat on the Supreme Court—will undoubtedly follow her death. But how did Ginsburg herself want to be remembered?

“[As] someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability,” she told MSNBC’s Irin Carmon in 2015. “And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at age 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the pioneering Supreme Court justice who became the second female on the nation's highest court, the leader of its liberal wing and a pop culture icon known as Notorious R.B.G., died Friday night. She was 87.

Ginsburg died surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

The vacancy enables President Donald Trump to nominate his third justice to swing the bench further to the right, setting up what's certain to be a colossal battle perhaps even bigger than those of his nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

In a statement issued just over an hour after the Supreme Court announced Ginsburg's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump's eventual nominee "will receive a vote on the floor."

According to NPR, days before her death, Ginsburg told her granddaughter: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. 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."

The White House flag has been lowered to half-staff in her memory.

Trump, who was in Minnesota for a campaign rally, was stunned when a reporter informed him of the news.

"She has died?" Trump responded. "Wow. I didn't know that. You're telling me now for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I'm actually saddened to hear that. I am saddened to hear that. Thank you very much."

Ginsburg had a history of medical problems. In December 2018, doctors removed two cancerous nodules from her left lung, and she underwent additional treatment in August 2019 for a tumor on her pancreas. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery in 2009 for pancreatic cancer.

By early January 2020, Ginsburg told CNN she was "cancer free," but in July she announced that she was being treated for liver cancer.

The nodules in her lung were discovered in November 2018, when she was hospitalized for broken ribs following a fall in her office. Ginsburg's convalescence 2½ weeks after the lung surgery ended her 25-year streak of never missing hearing a Supreme Court case for any reason outside of recusal, but she continued to work from home in her Watergate apartment.

In her second day back on the bench, she read the opinion she had written in a unanimous ruling against excessive punishment.

"I think my work is what saved me because instead of dwelling on my physical discomforts if I have an opinion to write or a brief to read, I know I've just got to get it done so I have to get over it," she told NPR's Nina Totenberg in a September 2019 interview at an event hosted by the Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service.

In another interview with Totenberg two months later, she defended herself from criticism that she should have retired while President Barack Obama was in office. "When that suggestion is made, I ask the question: Who do you think the president could nominate that could get through the Republican Senate? Who you would prefer on the court than me?"

The subject of two major movies in 2018 and an animated cameo appearance in a 2019 Lego movie, Ginsburg battled for the equality of the sexes. The first movie, "RBG," was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.

Her dedication to the law was perhaps best illustrated by the fact that she always kept a "pocket Constitution" in her handbag.

Months after giving birth, Ginsburg became one of only nine women in a class of 500 at Harvard Law School in 1956. After transferring to Columbia Law School and tied for No. 1 in her graduating class in 1959, she had trouble finding a law firm to hire her. In 1960, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter rejected her for a clerkship on the basis of her gender, despite the recommendation of Harvard Law's dean.

"A Jew, a woman and a mother, that was a bit much. Three strikes put me out of the game," she once recalled.

Ginsburg became a professor at Rutgers Law in 1963 and later Columbia Law's first woman tenured faculty member. She helped launch the American Civil Liberties Union's Women's Rights Project in 1972.

"Women's rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy," she said.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, powerhouse Supreme Court Justice, dies at 87

She was appointed to the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton in 1993.

Remembering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the powerhouse Supreme Court justice and champion for women's rights, has died at the age of 87.

"Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

Her death while still serving on the Court, a scenario long-dreaded by liberals, creates a rare election-year opportunity for President Donald Trump to nominate a conservative replacement, triggering a pitched political battle.

"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."

Ginsburg had become the standard bearer for the court's liberal wing, writing landmark opinions that advanced gender equality and rights for disabled Americans and immigrants in her more than quarter century on the bench.

She was equally known for impassioned dissents on major social issues -- from affirmative action to equal pay -- which earned her a sort of rock-star status among progressives and inspired lawmakers on how to legislate social change.

"In the last 26 years, she has far exceeded even my expectations," former President Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the court, at a 2019 event honoring the justice at his presidential library. "We like her because she seems so totally on the level in a world hungry for people who are not trying to con you, who are on the level."

Ginsburg was the second woman to sit on the high court, joining Sandra Day O'Connor in 1993, and went on to become its longest-serving woman in history. She was the first female Jewish justice.

"Ruth Ginsburg is an inspiration," said Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the court's newest member, in his first public speech as a justice in 2019. He called her a "dedicated, hardworking and generous soul."

Chief Justice John Roberts has called Ginsburg a "rock star."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the third woman and first Latina appointed to the Supreme Court, has likened her colleague to a "steel magnolia." "She's delicate on the outside," Sotomayor said of Ginsburg in 2018, "but she has an iron rod behind it."

Throughout her career, Ginsburg defied gender norms and skeptics of her mettle.

She was one of just nine women in a class of 500 students at Harvard Law School in 1956 and became the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. She later transferred to Columbia University Law School, following her beloved husband Marty who landed a job in Manhattan.

When she graduated top of her class in 1959 without a single job offer from a New York law firm, she accepted a clerkship with a federal judge in Manhattan.

Undeterred, Ginsburg pursued the law through academia, first as a researcher at Columbia and later joining the faculty of Rutgers University in New Jersey, where she became one of the first women to teach at any American law school.

In the 1970s, Ginsburg began taking up sex discrimination cases with the ACLU and co-founded the organization's Women's Rights Project. She argued six cases before the Supreme Court and won five of them.

She argued on behalf of men as well as women, part of a strategy to fight gender inequality in a way that appealed to a predominantly male judiciary. In the 1975 case Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, Ginsburg represented a widower seeking to recover his wife's Social Security survivor benefits, which at the time were only granted to widows. She won.

"I was doing what my mother taught me to do – be a good teacher," Ginsburg told a crowd at Meredith College in North Carolina last year. "It was getting the court to understand that these were no favors to women and opening their eyes to that reality was the challenge."

President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980 where she spent 13 years and wrote hundreds of opinions. "What Jimmy Carter began was to change the complexion of the judiciary," she said of her nomination and that of 40 other women, a record.

In 1993, Justice Byron White announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, giving a young President Bill Clinton his first chance to make an appointment, just seven months after taking office. Clinton considered several candidates before settling on Ginsburg after a face-to-face Oval Office meeting.

"She was brilliant and had a good head on her shoulders. She was rigorous but warm hearted. She had a good sense of humor and sensible, attainable judicial philosophy," Clinton said recently, reflecting on his pick.

"I thought she had the ability to find common ground in a country increasingly polarized," he said. "She had already proved herself to be a healer. In short, I liked her and I believed in her."

The U.S. Senate confirmed Ginsburg on Aug. 3, 1993, by a vote of 96-3.

Judicial legacy

Her judicial philosophy advocated narrowly tailored, thoughtful decisions that did not get out too far ahead of public opinion or the responsibility of legislators to make policy.

Ginsburg famously lamented the Supreme Court's reasoning in its 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion, which grounded abortion rights in a constitutional right to privacy rather the principle of equal protection.

While she staunchly defended reproductive rights, Ginsburg believed the Court had gone too far, too fast, putting forward a "grand philosophy" at a time when many states were taking steps to "liberalize" abortion laws on their own.

"No measured motion, the Roe decision left virtually no state with laws fully conforming to the Court's delineation of abortion regulation still permissible," Ginsburg wrote in a 1993 Washington Post op-ed. "Around that extraordinary decision, a well-organized and vocal right-to-life movement rallied and succeeded, for a considerable time, in turning the legislative tide in the opposite direction."

She authored dozens of majority opinions in her career, earning a reputation among her colleagues for speed and accuracy.

"As a litigator and then as a judge, she changed the face of American anti-discrimination law," Justice Elena Kagan said of her colleague in 2014.

Ginsburg considered one of her most important opinions the 1996 case United States v. Virginia that found the Virginia Military Institute's male-only admission policy violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause.

"Neither the goal of producing citizen soldiers nor VMI's implementing methodology is inherently unsuitable to women," she wrote in an opinion joined by five of her colleagues. "And the school's impressive record in producing leaders has made admission desirable to some women."

In her memoir, My Own Words, Ginsburg writes that she regards the case as "the culmination of the 1970s endeavor to open doors so that women could aspire and achieve without artificial constraints."

In 1999, Ginsburg delivered the majority opinion in Olmstead v. L.C. which affirmed the right of Americans with disabilities to receive state-funded support and services in their communities, instead of only designated institutions.

"We confront the question whether the proscription of discrimination may require placement of persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than in institutions," she wrote. "The answer, we hold, is a qualified yes."

As the court moved to the right, Ginsburg often challenged her colleagues with polite but impassioned dissents.

One of her most famous dissents came in Bush v. Gore, which brought an end to the contested 2000 election and cleared the way for George W. Bush to claim the presidency. "I dissent," Ginsburg wrote sharply, breaking with the customary "I respectfully dissent" in a subtle protest.

"There's never been a case like Bush v. Gore before or since. From the day of that decision, continuing to this day, the Court has never cited it as precedent in any other case, and I think it will remain that way," she said in a lecture in 2014.

Defending abortion rights was a hallmark of her tenure. In 2007, Ginsburg blasted a narrow 5-4 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart upholding a ban on intact dilation and extraction abortions as "quite simply irrational."

"The notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational," she wrote in her dissent. "The Court's defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court -- and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives."

Occasionally lawmakers used Ginsburg's dissents as inspiration for new legislation.

When the Court in 2007 upheld a statute of limitations for pay discrimination claims against Goodyear Tire, Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench and proposed a legislative fix.

"In our view, the court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination," she said.

Two years later, after action by Congress, President Barack Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, named after the woman who had sued Goodyear and lost at the Supreme Court, extending the statute of limitations for future unequal pay claims. A framed copy of the law hung in Ginsburg's chambers.

"The idea that the dissent put forward was the soul of simplicity," Ginsburg later said. "It said, 'Every paycheck that this woman receives is renewing the discrimination, so she can sue within 180 days of her latest paycheck, and she will be on time.' That's what Congress said: 'Yes, that's what we meant.'"

"If there was one decision I would overrule, it would be Citizens United," she told law professor Jeffrey Rosen of the landmark 2010 decision lifting corporate spending limits in campaigns. "I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be. So that's No. 1 on my list."

In 2013, Ginsburg strongly opposed the Court's controversial Shelby County v. Holder decision that struck down a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requiring state and local governments with a history of discrimination to get preclearance from the Justice Department before changing voting laws.

"Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet," Ginsburg wrote in her dissent.

The opinion gave rise to a new nickname for Ginsburg -- "Notorious R.B.G." -- coined by an NYU law school student as a play on the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.

"She was angry, and then it came to her that anger is a useless emotion," Ginsburg said of the student. "And the positive thing she did was to put on her blog my dissenting opinion in the case and then it took off from there."

In 2012, Ginsburg wrote what longtime court reporter Jeffrey Toobin called "probably the most powerful opinion of her career" endorsing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

"Unlike the market for almost any other product or service, the market for medical care is one in which all individuals inevitably participate," she wrote, defending Congress' sweeping power under the Constitution's commerce clause. "Virtually every person residing in the U.S., sooner or later, will visit a doctor or other health care professional."

"Dissents speak to a future age," Ginsburg told NPR's Nina Totenberg in 2002. "The greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become a dominant view. So that's the dissenter's hope: that they are writing not for today but for tomorrow."


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Little Richard

Little Richard, the singer and pianist who became a rock pioneer with his high-energy musicianship and boundary-pushing personality, died on May 9 at age 87 from unspecified causes.

Jerry Stiller

Jerry Stiller, the Emmy-nominated comedy legend of TV sitcoms “Seinfeld” and “King of Queens,” passed away on May 11. He was 92.

Phyllis George

Phyllis George, a former Miss America winner who went on to become one of the first female broadcasters covering the NFL — and later, the First Lady of Kentucky — died on May 14 at the age of 70.

Fred Willard

Comedic actor Fred Willard, best known for his roles in "Spinal Tap" and "Modern Family," passed away on May 15 at the age of 86.

Lynn Shelton

Director and producer Lynn Shelton, who helmed independent films like "Humpday" and "Sword of Trust," died on May 16 from a previously undisclosed blood disorder. She was 54.

Ken Osmond

Ken Osmond, best known for his role as Eddie Haskell on “Leave It to Beaver,” died on May 18 at the age of 76.

Chris Trousdale

Chris Trousdale, a former member of the boy band Dream Street, died on June 2. His former bandmate, Jesse McCartney, said he died "due to complications from COVID-19." He was 34.

Bonnie Pointer

Bonnie Pointer, a member of the iconic R&B group The Pointer Sisters, passed away on June 8. She was 69.

"Lord of the Rings" star Ian Holm passed away on June 19. He was 88.

Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher, director of films like “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Client” and “A Time to Kill,” died on June 22 after a long battle with cancer. He was 80.

Carl Reiner

Legendary entertainer Carl Reiner, perhaps best known as the creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show," died on June 29. He was 98.

Danny Hicks

The actor, who appeared in several Sam Raimi films including “Evil Dead II,” “Darkman” and “Spider-Man 2,” died on June 30 at the age of 68.

Ronald L. Schwary

Ronald L. Schwary, Oscar-winning producer of Robert Redford’s 1980 drama “Ordinary People,” died on July 2 at age 76, his family announced.

Hugh Downs

Longtime TV news anchor Hugh Downs passed away on July 2 at the age of 99.

Earl Cameron

Earl Camerson, one of the first Black actors to be cast in major roles in British films, died at the age of 102 on July 3. His first role was in the 1951 film "Pool of London."

Nick Cordero

Tony Award-nominated actor Nick Cordero died on July 5 due to complications from coronavirus. He was 41.

Mary Kay Letourneau

The Seattle-area middle school teacher -- who became infamous in 1997 after raping one of her students, serving a lengthy prison sentence, then marrying the student after her release from prison -- died on July 6 following a battle with cancer. She was 58.

Ennio Morricone

Oscar-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone died on July 6 at age 91, his lawyer told the New York Times. Morricone became famous for his melodic scores for 1960s Westerns like “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” and “Once Upon a Time in the West.” He drew on his work in so-called spaghetti Westerns for Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 Western “The Hateful Eight,” which earned the composer his first Academy Award after five previous nominations and an honorary award in 2007.

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels, a country music and Southern rock legend known for his song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died on July 6. He was 83.

Atlanta rapper Lil Marlo (né Rudolph Johnson), best known for his 2017 hit “2 the Hard Way" with Lil Baby, was shot and killed in his native Atlanta on July 12, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said. He was 30.

Kelly Preston

Actress Kelly Preston, who starred in such films as "Twins" and "Jerry Maguire," died on July 12 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. The star, who had three children with husband John Travolta, was 57.

Naya Rivera

Former "Glee" star Naya Rivera was found dead on July 13 after going missing the week prior while out on a boat with her son in Ventura County, Calif. She was 33.

Grant Imahara

Grant Imahara, the engineer and roboticist who helped test some of the world’s most famous rumors on the iconic Discovery Channel series “Mythbusters,” died on July 13 at the age of 49.

The dancer and actress, who appeared in classic television shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Twin Peaks,” died on July 14 at the age of 55.

John Lewis

John Lewis, the civil rights icon who played a key role in some of the most important battles of the era, died on July 17 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Regis Philbin

Longtime morning television host and five-time Emmy-winner Regis Philbin died July 25 of natural causes. He was 88.

Peter Green

The British guitarist, who co-founded the seminal rock band Fleetwood Mac, died at age 73 on July 25.

Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland, an Oscar-winning actress best known for her role as the timid but strong Melanie in the 1939 classic “Gone With the Wind,” died July 26 of natural causes. She was 104.

Herman Cain

Herman Cain, a former GOP presidential candidate and business czar, died on July 30 from complications of the coronavirus. He was 74.

Wilford Brimley

Wilford Brimley, a beloved character actor who starred in such film as “Cocoon” and “The Natural,” died on Aug. 1 at age 85.

Sumner Redstone

Sumner Redstone, a movie theater owner’s son who became one of the most powerful moguls in Hollywood history, died on Aug. 11 at the age of 97.

Trini Lopez

The singer and guitarist, who famously covered Pete Seeger and Lee Hays' song “If I Had a Hammer,” died due to complications from COVID-19 on Aug. 11 at the age of 83.

Robert Trump

Robert Trump, the younger brother of Donald Trump and a former real estate developer and executive at the Trump Organization, died on Aug. 15. He was 71 years old.

Justin Townes Earle

The Americana singer-songwriter and son of the country artist Steve Earle, known for his 2007 EP "Yuma," died on Aug. 20 at age 38.

Chadwick Boseman

"Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman died on Aug. 28 at the age of 43. He had been battling colon cancer but never publicly disclosed his diagnosis.

Cliff Robinson

This NBA All-Star and former contestant on “Survivor” died on Aug. 29 at age 53. His cause of death was lymphoma, according to the New York Times.

Kevin Dobson

Actor Kevin Dobson, a star on beloved CBS dramas “Kojak” and “Knots Landing,” died Sept. 6 of a heart attack. He was 77.

Bruce Williamson

The lead singer of The Temptations from 2006-2015 died of COVID-19 on Sept. 6, according to TMZ. He was 49 years old.

Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg, who was best known for her roles as Lady Olenna Tyrell on “Game of Thrones” and Emma Peel in the 1960s TV series “The Avengers,” died Sept. 10 at her home in the U.K. following a battle with cancer. She was 82.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the celebrated Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon, died due to complications from metastatic pancreas cancer on Sept. 18. She was 87.

Michael Lonsdale

Michael Lonsdale, the actor who played the iconic villain Hugo Drax in 1979’s James Bond movie “Moonraker” and starred in 1973’s “The Day of the Jackal,” died on Sept. 21 at age 89.

Jackie Stallone

The celebrity astrologer and mother of "Rocky" actor Sylvester Stallone died on Sept. 21 at the age of 98.

Helen Reddy

The "I am Woman" singer and feminist icon died Sept. 29. She was 78.

Eddie Van Halen

Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen passed away on Oct. 6 following a long battle with cancer. He was 65.

Whitey Ford

Edward Charles Ford, better known as Whitey Ford, was a New York Yankees legend and Hall of Fame baseball player. The team announced his death on Oct. 8 at the age of 91.

Rhonda Fleming

Dubbed "The Queen of Technicolor," Rhonda Fleming -- who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound" and opposite Bing Crosby in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court" -- died in mid-October at the age of 97.

The game show host, known for hosting "Name That Tune," "You Don't Say" and "Password Plus," died Oct. 11. He was 93.

Conchata Ferrell

The actress, who appeared in films like "Edward Scissorhands" and "Erin Brockovich" but was best known for playing the housekeeper Berta on “Two and a Half Men,” died on Oct. 12. She was 77.

Ferrell died on Monday, Oct. 12, due to complications following a cardiac arrest

MLB Hall of Famer and broadcast commentator Joe Morgan died Oct. 12 after suffering from polyneuropathy. He was 77 years old.

The legendary Minneapolis sports columnist and Lakers general manager died at the age of 100 on Oct. 18.

James Randi

The famed magician was known as “The Amazing Randi” and also worked as a scientific investigator who debunked sensational claims of paranormal and occult occurrences. He died on Oct. 20 at age 92.

The British lead singer and bassist for the band The Outfield passed away Oct. 20. He was 62.

Marge Champion

The actress, known for “Show Boat” and “Give a Girl a Break," was also the model for Walt Disney animators who created the dancing in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." She died on Oct. 21 at age 101.

The creator of "Starsky & Hutch" and the writer of "Purple Rain" died on Oct. 22 at the age of 83.

Tracy Smothers

WWE star Tracy Smothers, who competed under the moniker Freddie Joe Floyd, passed away Oct. 28. He was 58.

Sean Connery

The legendary actor known for "James Bond," "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" and "The Hunt for Red October" passed away on Oct. 31 at age 90.

Eddie Hassell

The "Devious Maids" and "The Kids Are Alright" actor was shot and killed in Texas on Nov. 1. He was 30.

Nikki McKibbin

The "American Idol" finalist and native Texan died Nov. 1. She was 42.

Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek, longtime “Jeopardy!” host and beloved TV personality, died on Nov. 8 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Bobby Brown Jr.

Bobby Brown Jr., son of Bobby Brown and Kim Ward, died in Encino, Calif. on Nov. 19. He was 28.

David Dinkins

Dinkins, the first Black mayor of New York City, passed away Nov. 23. He was 93.

Ed, the brother of Bill Murray, inspired the hit film "Caddyshack" by introducing his family to the game of golf. Ed Murray died Nov. 25 at age 67.

David Prowse

The actor behind Darth Vader's mask died Nov. 29. He was 85.

David Lander

David Lander, the actor who played Squiggy on the “Happy Days” spin-off “Laverne & Shirley,” died on Dec. 4 due to complications from multiple sclerosis. He was 73.

Tommy 'Tiny' Lister

Former wrestler and actor Tommy "Tiny" Lister, best known for his role in the "Friday" movies, died on Dec. 10. He was 62.

John le Carré

Famed British author John le Carré, whose books include “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” died on Dec. 13 after battling pneumonia. He was 89.

Ann Reinking

The Tony-winning actor and dancer most known for directing choreography in the 1996 "Chicago" musical and as protégée of Bob Fosse, died Dec. 14 in Washington state. She was 71.

Robert Werden

Werden was a Hollywood publicist for 35 years and the Oscars' publicity lead from 1975 to 1993. He also was a unit publicist on over 40 movies, including "Pennies From Heaven" and the original "Superman" films. He died at his home in Los Angeles on Dec. 15. He was 94 years old.

Marcus D’Amico

The London-based actor was best known for appearing in the original “Tales of the City” miniseries in 1993. He died on Dec. 16 at the age of 55.

Tuck Tucker

The prolific animator, writer, artist and songwriter whose work included "Spongebob," "The Simpsons," "Hey Arnold" and "The Fairly OddParents," died on Dec. 22 from undisclosed causes. He was 59.

Rebecca Luker

The Tony Award-nominated Broadway actress and singer died on Dec. 23 at age 59 following a battle with ALS.

Jonathan Huber

The professional wrestler with both WWE and All Elite Wrestling was best known under his ring names Brodie Lee and Luke Harper. He died on Dec. 26 from undisclosed causes at age 41.

Phil Niekro

The Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher best known for playing 20 seasons with the Atlanta Braves died on Dec. 26 after a battle with cancer. He was 81.

Nick McGlashan

The seventh-generation fisherman was a regular on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” series, appearing as a deck boss on 78 episodes over seven seasons. He died on Dec. 27 at age 33, though no cause of death was given.

William Link

The co-creator of classic TV series including “Columbo” and “Murder, She Wrote" died on Dec. 27 at age 87. His cause of death was congestive heart failure, his widow told Deadline.

The New Jersey high school principal was the subject of the 1989 biopic “Lean on Me” starring Morgan Freeman. Clark died on Dec. 29 at the age of 82.

Pierre Cardin

The legendary fashion designer and entrepreneur died on Dec. 29 at age 98. He was known for futuristic designs like the bubble dress.

Howard Rubenstein

The public relations heavyweight died on Dec. 29 at age 88. His past clients included Donald Trump, George Steinbrenner and the Yankees, Columbia University and the Metropolitan Opera. His cause of death was not immediately revealed.

Phyllis McGuire

The last surviving member of the 1950s singing trio The McGuire Sisters died on Dec. 29 at the age of 89. No cause of death was immediately given.

Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones

The pioneering hip-hop dancer and star of the film “Breakin'" died on Dec. 30 at age 65. His cause of death was not immediately released.

The "Gilligan's Island" star, who played Mary Ann on the classic 1960s sitcom, died of complications due to COVID-19 on Dec. 30. She was 82.

A look at all the stars in movies, TV, music, sports and media we lost this year


Legendary U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies At 87

Updated on 9/19/2020 at 9:27 PM

Legendary U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose liberal force on the court and fierce advocacy for women cemented her as a feminist icon with the nickname “Notorious RBG,” has died at age 87.

She died of complications of metastatic pancreas cancer, the Supreme Court announced Friday night, and was “surrounded by her family at home in Washington, D.C."

“Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. 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’s death leaves an open seat on the Court, which has a conservative majority, fewer than 50 days before one of the most unconventional, consequential elections in modern U.S. history.

Ginsburg said in July that she’d been undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer, but planned to remain on the nation’s highest court. Ginsburg had announced that she was cancer-free in January of this year. She has been treated four times for cancer, including pancreatic and colon cancer, most recently August 2019, the Washington Post reported. She was the Court’s oldest member and recognized as a leader of its liberal minority after a decades-long legal career spent advancing gender equality and women’s rights.

In recent years, she had been known for her increasingly fiery dissenting opinions and undiminished passion for women’s rights. In the days before her death, according to NPR, she told her granddaughter: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Following news of her death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Republicans will move to fill her seat with a Trump appointee. Democratic leaders are calling for the seat to remain open until next year.

Ginsburg was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated first in her class from Cornell University and studied law at Harvard and Columbia. She was the first woman on both the Harvard and Columbia Law Review. She graduated from Cornell in 1954, the same year she married Martin Ginsburg, also a lawyer, who she has credited with supporting her career during an era when women were often confined to domestic roles. The Ginsburgs had two children, Jane Ginsburg and James Steven Ginsburg. Martin died in 2010 from cancer and had an impressive legal career of his own, specializing in tax law.

She was appointed to the D.C. Appeals Court by Jimmy Carter in 1980, and became the second woman Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, appointed under Bill Clinton, in 1993.

Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court William Rehnquist (R) administers the oath of office to newly-appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (L) as U.S. President Bill Clinton looks on 10 August 1993. Ginsburg is the 107th Supreme Court justice and the second woman to serve on the high court. | KORT DUCE/AFP via Getty Images

Her unparalleled and illustrious career has been chronicled in multiple recent films, including the documentary “RBG” and the drama “On the Basis Of Sex.” Off the court, she was also known as a passionate fan of the opera and as a diligent workout enthusiast. (Back in 2017, a young male reporter struggled to complete her routine.)
Her ascendance into popular culture is in part due to a fan blog “Notorious R.B.G.” as well as a biography of the same title, authored by journalist Irin Carmon and lawyer Shana Knizhnik.

"In 1971, she was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973–1980, and on the National Board of Directors from 1974–1980," a SCOTUS statement read. "She was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. During her more than 40 years as a Judge and a Justice, she was served by 159 law clerks."

In the Frontiero v. Richardson case in 1973, she said in her winning argument: “Sex like race is a visible, immutable characteristic bearing no necessary relationship to ability. Sex like race has been made the basis for unjustified or at least unproven assumptions, concerning an individual’s potential to perform or contribute to society.”

A private service will be held for Ginsburg at Arlington National Cemetery, according to a Supreme Court release.

Watch more about her legacy and how she became known as the "Notorious RBG."


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WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Ginsberg’s death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.

Ginsburg announced in July that 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 defense 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 hospitalizations after she turned 75.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020. The release from #scotus is below. pic.twitter.com/vWxXPqQGPn

&mdash Jan Crawford (@JanCBS) September 18, 2020

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 antagonized Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign in a series of media interviews, including calling him a faker. She soon apologized.

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.

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.

“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.”

On the court, where she was known as a facile writer, her most significant majority opinions were the 1996 ruling that ordered the Virginia Military Institute to accept women or give up its state funding, and the 2015 decision that upheld independent commissions some states use to draw congressional districts.

Besides civil rights, Ginsburg took an interest in capital punishment, voting repeatedly to limit its use. During her tenure, the court declared it unconstitutional for states to execute the intellectually disabled and killers younger than 18.

In addition, she questioned the quality of lawyers for poor accused murderers. In the most divisive of cases, including the Bush v. Gore decision in 2000, she was often at odds with the court’s more conservative members — initially Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

The division remained the same after John Roberts replaced Rehnquist as chief justice, Samuel Alito took O’Connor’s seat, and, under Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined the court, in seats that had been held by Scalia and Kennedy, respectively.

Ginsburg would say later that the 5-4 decision that settled the 2000 presidential election for Republican George W. Bush was a “breathtaking episode” at the court.

She was perhaps personally closest on the court to Scalia, her ideological opposite. Ginsburg once explained that she took Scalia’s sometimes biting dissents as a challenge to be met. “How am I going to answer this in a way that’s a real putdown?” she said. Scalia died in 2016.

Ginsburg authored powerful dissents of her own in cases involving abortion, voting rights and pay discrimination against women. She said some were aimed at swaying the opinions of her fellow judges while others were “an appeal to the intelligence of another day” in the hopes that they would provide guidance to future courts.

“Hope springs eternal,” she said in 2007, “and when I am writing a dissent, I’m always hoping for that fifth or sixth vote — even though I’m disappointed more often than not.”

She wrote memorably in 2013 that the court’s decision to cut out a key part of the federal law that had ensured the voting rights of Black people, Hispanics and other minorities was “like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

Change on the court hit Ginsburg especially hard. She dissented forcefully from the court’s decision in 2007 to uphold a nationwide ban on an abortion procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion. The court, with O’Connor still on it, had struck down a similar state ban seven years earlier. The “alarming” ruling, Ginsburg said, “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this court — and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.”

In 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and received radiation and chemotherapy. She had surgery again in 2009 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and in December 2018 for cancerous growths on her left lung. Following the last surgery, she missed court sessions for the first time in more than 25 years on the bench.

Ginsburg also was treated with radiation for a tumor on her pancreas in August 2019. She maintained an active schedule even during the three weeks of radiation. When she revealed a recurrence of her cancer in July 2020, Ginsburg said she remained “fully able” to continue as a justice.

Joan Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, the second daughter in a middle-class family. Her older sister, who gave her the lifelong nickname “Kiki,” died at age 6, so Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section as an only child. Her dream, she has said, was to be an opera singer.

Ginsburg graduated at the top of her Columbia University law school class in 1959 but could not find a law firm willing to hire her. She had “three strikes against her” — for being Jewish, female and a mother, as she put it in 2007.

She had married her husband, Martin, in 1954, the year she graduated from Cornell University. She attended Harvard University’s law school but transferred to Columbia when her husband took a law job there. Martin Ginsburg went on to become a prominent tax attorney and law professor. Martin Ginsburg died in 2010. She is survived by two children, Jane and James, and several grandchildren.

Ginsburg once said that she had not entered the law as an equal-rights champion. “I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other,” she wrote. “I have no talent in the arts, but I do write fairly well and analyze problems clearly.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a towering women’s rights champion, dies at age 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Her death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Friday that the Senate will vote on Trump’s pick to replace Ginsburg, even though it’s an election year.

Trump called Ginsburg an “amazing woman” and did not mention filling her vacant Supreme Court seat when he spoke to reporters following a rally in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Biden said the winner of the November election should choose Ginsburg’s replacement. “There is no doubt -- let me be clear -- that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden told reporters after returning to his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, from campaign stops in Minnesota.

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.

Ginsburg announced in July that 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 defense 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 hospitalizations 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, 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 antagonized Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign in a series of media interviews, including calling him a faker. She soon apologized.

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.

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.

“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.”

Following her death, Clinton said, “Her 27 years on the Court exceeded even my highest expectations when I appointed her.”

On the court, where she was known as a facile writer, her most significant majority opinions were the 1996 ruling that ordered the Virginia Military Institute to accept women or give up its state funding, and the 2015 decision that upheld independent commissions some states use to draw congressional districts.

Besides civil rights, Ginsburg took an interest in capital punishment, voting repeatedly to limit its use. During her tenure, the court declared it unconstitutional for states to execute the intellectually disabled and killers younger than 18.

In addition, she questioned the quality of lawyers for poor accused murderers. In the most divisive of cases, including the Bush v. Gore decision in 2000, she was often at odds with the court’s more conservative members — initially Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

The division remained the same after John Roberts replaced Rehnquist as chief justice, Samuel Alito took O’Connor’s seat, and, under Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined the court, in seats that had been held by Scalia and Kennedy, respectively.

Ginsburg would say later that the 5-4 decision that settled the 2000 presidential election for Republican George W. Bush was a “breathtaking episode” at the court.

She was perhaps personally closest on the court to Scalia, her ideological opposite. Ginsburg once explained that she took Scalia’s sometimes biting dissents as a challenge to be met. “How am I going to answer this in a way that’s a real putdown?” she said.

When Scalia died in 2016, also an election year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to act on Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the opening. The seat remained vacant until after Trump’s surprising presidential victory. McConnell has said he would move to confirm a Trump nominee if there were a vacancy this year.

Reached by phone late Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, declined to disclose any plans. He called Ginsburg a “trailblazer” and said, “While I had many differences with her on legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation.”

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer tweeted: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Ginsburg authored powerful dissents of her own in cases involving abortion, voting rights and pay discrimination against women. She said some were aimed at swaying the opinions of her fellow judges while others were “an appeal to the intelligence of another day” in the hopes that they would provide guidance to future courts.

“Hope springs eternal,” she said in 2007, “and when I am writing a dissent, I’m always hoping for that fifth or sixth vote — even though I’m disappointed more often than not.”

She wrote memorably in 2013 that the court’s decision to cut out a key part of the federal law that had ensured the voting rights of Black people, Hispanics and other minorities was “like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

Change on the court hit Ginsburg especially hard. She dissented forcefully from the court’s decision in 2007 to uphold a nationwide ban on an abortion procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion. The court, with O’Connor still on it, had struck down a similar state ban seven years earlier. The “alarming” ruling, Ginsburg said, “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this court — and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.”

In 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and received radiation and chemotherapy. She had surgery again in 2009 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and in December 2018 for cancerous growths on her left lung. Following the last surgery, she missed court sessions for the first time in more than 25 years on the bench.

Ginsburg also was treated with radiation for a tumor on her pancreas in August 2019. She maintained an active schedule even during the three weeks of radiation. When she revealed a recurrence of her cancer in July 2020, Ginsburg said she remained “fully able” to continue as a justice.

Joan Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, the second daughter in a middle-class family. Her older sister, who gave her the lifelong nickname “Kiki,” died at age 6, so Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section as an only child. Her dream, she has said, was to be an opera singer.

Ginsburg graduated at the top of her Columbia University law school class in 1959 but could not find a law firm willing to hire her. She had “three strikes against her” — for being Jewish, female and a mother, as she put it in 2007.

She had married her husband, Martin, in 1954, the year she graduated from Cornell University. She attended Harvard University’s law school but transferred to Columbia when her husband took a law job there. Martin Ginsburg went on to become a prominent tax attorney and law professor. Martin Ginsburg died in 2010. She is survived by two children, Jane and James, and several grandchildren.

Ginsburg once said that she had not entered the law as an equal-rights champion. “I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other,” she wrote. “I have no talent in the arts, but I do write fairly well and analyze problems clearly.”


Breaking: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

In this Oct. 30, 2019, file photo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attends Georgetown Law's second annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture in Washington. The Supreme Court says Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Her death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.

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.

“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.”

Ginsburg announced in July that 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 defense 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 hospitalizations 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, 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 antagonized Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign in a series of media interviews, including calling him a faker. She soon apologized.

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.

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.

“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.”

On the court, where she was known as a facile writer, her most significant majority opinions were the 1996 ruling that ordered the Virginia Military Institute to accept women or give up its state funding, and the 2015 decision that upheld independent commissions some states use to draw congressional districts.

Besides civil rights, Ginsburg took an interest in capital punishment, voting repeatedly to limit its use. During her tenure, the court declared it unconstitutional for states to execute the intellectually disabled and killers younger than 18.

In addition, she questioned the quality of lawyers for poor accused murderers. In the most divisive of cases, including the Bush v. Gore decision in 2000, she was often at odds with the court’s more conservative members — initially Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

The division remained the same after John Roberts replaced Rehnquist as chief justice, Samuel Alito took O’Connor’s seat, and, under Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined the court, in seats that had been held by Scalia and Kennedy, respectively.

Ginsburg would say later that the 5-4 decision that settled the 2000 presidential election for Republican George W. Bush was a “breathtaking episode” at the court.

She was perhaps personally closest on the court to Scalia, her ideological opposite. Ginsburg once explained that she took Scalia’s sometimes biting dissents as a challenge to be met. “How am I going to answer this in a way that’s a real putdown?” she said.

When Scalia died in 2016, also an election year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to act on Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the opening. The seat remained vacant until after Trump's surprising presidential victory. McConnell has said he would move to confirm a Trump nominee if there were a vacancy this year.

Reached by phone late Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, declined to disclose any plans. He said a statement would be forthcoming.

Ginsburg authored powerful dissents of her own in cases involving abortion, voting rights and pay discrimination against women. She said some were aimed at swaying the opinions of her fellow judges while others were “an appeal to the intelligence of another day” in the hopes that they would provide guidance to future courts.

“Hope springs eternal,” she said in 2007, “and when I am writing a dissent, I’m always hoping for that fifth or sixth vote — even though I’m disappointed more often than not.”

She wrote memorably in 2013 that the court’s decision to cut out a key part of the federal law that had ensured the voting rights of Black people, Hispanics and other minorities was “like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

Change on the court hit Ginsburg especially hard. She dissented forcefully from the court’s decision in 2007 to uphold a nationwide ban on an abortion procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion. The court, with O’Connor still on it, had struck down a similar state ban seven years earlier. The “alarming” ruling, Ginsburg said, “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this court — and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.”

In 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and received radiation and chemotherapy. She had surgery again in 2009 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and in December 2018 for cancerous growths on her left lung. Following the last surgery, she missed court sessions for the first time in more than 25 years on the bench.

Ginsburg also was treated with radiation for a tumor on her pancreas in August 2019. She maintained an active schedule even during the three weeks of radiation. When she revealed a recurrence of her cancer in July 2020, Ginsburg said she remained “fully able” to continue as a justice.

Joan Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, the second daughter in a middle-class family. Her older sister, who gave her the lifelong nickname “Kiki,” died at age 6, so Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section as an only child. Her dream, she has said, was to be an opera singer.

Ginsburg graduated at the top of her Columbia University law school class in 1959 but could not find a law firm willing to hire her. She had “three strikes against her” — for being Jewish, female and a mother, as she put it in 2007.

She had married her husband, Martin, in 1954, the year she graduated from Cornell University. She attended Harvard University’s law school but transferred to Columbia when her husband took a law job there. Martin Ginsburg went on to become a prominent tax attorney and law professor. Martin Ginsburg died in 2010. She is survived by two children, Jane and James, and several grandchildren.

Ginsburg once said that she had not entered the law as an equal-rights champion. “I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other,” she wrote. “I have no talent in the arts, but I do write fairly well and analyze problems clearly.”


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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies At 87

Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.

The Associated Press

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Her death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Friday that the Senate will vote on Trump&rsquos pick to replace Ginsburg, even though it&rsquos an election year.

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 &mdash a tireless and resolute champion of justice,” Roberts said in a statement.

Ginsburg announced in July that 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 defense 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 hospitalizations 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, Trump will almost certainly try to push Ginsburg’s successor through the Republican-controlled Senate &mdash and move the conservative court even more to the right.

Ginsburg antagonized Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign in a series of media interviews, including calling him a faker. She soon apologized.

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.

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.

“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.”

On the court, where she was known as a facile writer, her most significant majority opinions were the 1996 ruling that ordered the Virginia Military Institute to accept women or give up its state funding, and the 2015 decision that upheld independent commissions some states use to draw congressional districts.

Besides civil rights, Ginsburg took an interest in capital punishment, voting repeatedly to limit its use. During her tenure, the court declared it unconstitutional for states to execute the intellectually disabled and killers younger than 18.

In addition, she questioned the quality of lawyers for poor accused murderers. In the most divisive of cases, including the Bush v. Gore decision in 2000, she was often at odds with the court’s more conservative members &mdash initially Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

The division remained the same after John Roberts replaced Rehnquist as chief justice, Samuel Alito took O’Connor’s seat, and, under Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined the court, in seats that had been held by Scalia and Kennedy, respectively.

Ginsburg would say later that the 5-4 decision that settled the 2000 presidential election for Republican George W. Bush was a “breathtaking episode” at the court.

She was perhaps personally closest on the court to Scalia, her ideological opposite. Ginsburg once explained that she took Scalia’s sometimes biting dissents as a challenge to be met. “How am I going to answer this in a way that’s a real putdown?” she said.

When Scalia died in 2016, also an election year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to act on Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the opening. The seat remained vacant until after Trump’s surprising presidential victory. McConnell has said he would move to confirm a Trump nominee if there were a vacancy this year.

Reached by phone late Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, declined to disclose any plans. He said a statement would be forthcoming.

Ginsburg authored powerful dissents of her own in cases involving abortion, voting rights and pay discrimination against women. She said some were aimed at swaying the opinions of her fellow judges while others were “an appeal to the intelligence of another day” in the hopes that they would provide guidance to future courts.

“Hope springs eternal,” she said in 2007, “and when I am writing a dissent, I’m always hoping for that fifth or sixth vote &mdash even though I’m disappointed more often than not.”

She wrote memorably in 2013 that the court’s decision to cut out a key part of the federal law that had ensured the voting rights of Black people, Hispanics and other minorities was “like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

Change on the court hit Ginsburg especially hard. She dissented forcefully from the court’s decision in 2007 to uphold a nationwide ban on an abortion procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion. The court, with O’Connor still on it, had struck down a similar state ban seven years earlier. The “alarming” ruling, Ginsburg said, “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this court &mdash and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.”

In 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and received radiation and chemotherapy. She had surgery again in 2009 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and in December 2018 for cancerous growths on her left lung. Following the last surgery, she missed court sessions for the first time in more than 25 years on the bench.

Ginsburg also was treated with radiation for a tumor on her pancreas in August 2019. She maintained an active schedule even during the three weeks of radiation. When she revealed a recurrence of her cancer in July 2020, Ginsburg said she remained “fully able” to continue as a justice.

Joan Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, the second daughter in a middle-class family. Her older sister, who gave her the lifelong nickname “Kiki,” died at age 6, so Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section as an only child. Her dream, she has said, was to be an opera singer.

Ginsburg graduated at the top of her Columbia University law school class in 1959 but could not find a law firm willing to hire her. She had “three strikes against her” &mdash for being Jewish, female and a mother, as she put it in 2007.

She had married her husband, Martin, in 1954, the year she graduated from Cornell University. She attended Harvard University’s law school but transferred to Columbia when her husband took a law job there. Martin Ginsburg went on to become a prominent tax attorney and law professor. He died in 2010. She is survived by two children, Jane and James, and several grandchildren.

Ginsburg once said that she had not entered the law as an equal-rights champion. “I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other,” she wrote. “I have no talent in the arts, but I do write fairly well and analyze problems clearly.”



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