(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — 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,” Court Spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.
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.
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.
She survived four battles with cancer over her Supreme Court career, never having to recuse herself from casework because of illness.
In December 2018, she was absent from oral arguments for the first time in 26 years after undergoing lung cancer surgery, but she participated in the cases remotely. During the coronavirus pandemic, she joined oral arguments by phone from a Maryland hospital where she was being treated for a gallbladder infection.
Ginsberg’s life was the subject of a 2018 Oscar-nominated documentary — RBG — and a Hollywood biopic — On the Basis of Sex — starring Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.
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