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Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, Dies, Leaves Vacancy on Supreme Court

By Matthew Bandy
Social Media Manager

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Sept. 18 at her home in Washington D.C. In a press release, the Supreme Court reported her cause of death was complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 87. “Our nation has lost a justice 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,” said Chief Justice John Roberts on Ginsburg.

Roberts has served with Ginsberg since his appointment in 2005.

Ginsberg sat on the court from 1993 until her death in 2020. A fervent fighter for equal rights, Ginsburg spent much of her life dedicated to promoting equality and the dismantling of institutionalized discrimination. 

Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Photographer: Steve Petteway

Through her later years, Ginsburg battled several bouts of illness, beginning in 1999 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Over the decades, cancers and other illnesses would pile up, but she rarely missed a day on the bench. In total, Ginsburg battled five different cancers but never let it stop her. She swore that she “would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam.” 

There is expected to be a great deal of political turmoil with the sudden death of Justice Ginsburg. With an already narrow split between liberal and conservative justices and an important hearing on the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare, scheduled for one week after the election, speculation grows on who may be the next appointed Justice. 

President Trump has already appointed two Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and anticipates appointing a third, which would be the most appointments to the court since President Ronald Regan appointed four during his two terms in office. 

Trump was quick to respond to the Supreme Court vacancy, tweeting out, “We have this obligation, without delay,” on Sept. 19, one day after Ginsberg’s death.

However, Ginsberg herself implored the Senate and the President to delay appointing her replacement until after the upcoming presidential election. As reported by NPR, in a message transcribed by her granddaughter days before her death, Ginsberg said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

With the unfolding political aftermath of Justice Ginsburg’s death, the Keystone will be updating this story as it unfolds.  

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