Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

David Caplan
September 18, 2020 - 6:41 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday the Supreme Court said in a statement. She was 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 Friday.

LISTEN: "RBG: Beyond Notorious:" This 6-episode podcast explores the life of the iconic Justice including interviews with relatives, former classmates and the "notorious RBG" herself.

President Trump told reporters, "She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not. She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I'm actually sad to hear that."

The White House later released a formal statement from the president, which read, "Today, our Nation mourns the loss of a titan of the law ... Renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg demonstrated that one can disagree without being disagreeable toward one’s colleagues or different points of view. Her opinions, including well-known decisions regarding the legal equality of women and the disabled, have inspired all Americans, and generations of great legal minds ... May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world."

According to NPR, just days before her death, as she was losing strength, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

A private interment service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, the Court said.

She is survived by her two children: Jane Carol Ginsburg (George Spera) and James Steven Ginsburg (Patrice Michaels), four grandchildren: Paul Spera (Francesca Toich), Clara Spera (Rory Boyd), Miranda Ginsburg, Abigail Ginsburg, two step-grandchildren: Harjinder Bedi, Satinder Bedi, and one great-grandchild: Lucrezia Spera. Her husband, Martin David Ginsburg, died in 2010.

Ginsburg's death opens a pivotal seat on the court less than 50 days before the election.

She was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 -- the first by a Democrat in 26 years.

“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.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio remembered the Brooklyn-born graduate of James Madison High School, tweeting, "Like so many of you, I’m crushed that we lost an incomparable icon. A daughter of Brooklyn. A tenacious spirit who moved this country forward in fairness, equality and morality. She was Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She never backed down from a fight. Tonight her hometown and world mourn."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo echoed de Blasio's sentiments that it's a significant loss, especially for New Yorkers.

"New York's heart breaks with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg," Cuomo said in a statement. "She was a daughter of Brooklyn and the embodiment of all that it means to be New York tough -- yet her life was a testament that tough does not preclude acting with respect, grace, and dignity. I know I speak for the entire family of New York when I say we are absolutely devastated by this loss."

In July, Ginsburg -- who had been diagnosed with cancer four times -- said she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lesions on her liver. The treatment -- which she has been receiving since May -- has led to a "significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease," she said at the time.

"On May 19, I began a course of chemotherapy (gemcitabine) to treat a recurrence of cancer. A periodic scan in February followed by a biopsy revealed lesions on my liver. My recent hospitalizations to remove gall stones and treat an infection were unrelated to this recurrence," she said in the July 17 statement. "Immunotherapy first essayed proved unsuccessful. The chemotherapy course, however, is yielding positive results. Satisfied that my treatment course is now clear, I am providing this information."

Hillary Clinton tweeted, "Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG."

Sen. Chuck Schumer tweeted, "Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion for justice, a trailblazer for women. She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to preserve her legacy."

He added in a subsequent tweet, "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 was born in Brooklyn on March 15, 1933. She married Martin D. Ginsburg in 1954. She received her B.A. from Cornell University, attended Harvard Law School, and received her LL.B. from Columbia Law School. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edmund L. Palmieri, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, from 1959 to 1961. From 1961 to 1963, she was a research associate and then associate director of the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure.

She was a Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963 to 1972, and Columbia Law School from 1972 to 1980, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California from 1977 to 1978.

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 to1980, and on the National Board of Directors from 1974 to1980. 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.

While on the Court, the Justice authored My Own Words (2016), a compilation of her speeches and writings.

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