US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday at age 87 at her home in Washington, DC, suffering from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and served more than 27 years on the Supreme Court bench after serving on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1980.
Ginsburg was the second woman appointed to the US Supreme Court and was known as an ardent defender of women’s rights.
While on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg famously wrote the majority opinion in US v. Virginia, striking down Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admissions policy as violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. She described the policy as invalid, “a law or official policy denies to women, simply because they are women, equal opportunity to aspire, achieve, participate in, and contribute to society, based upon what they can do.”
Ginsburg was also known for delivering powerful dissents, most notoriously in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Bush v. Gore and Shelby County v. Holder.
Chief Justice John Roberts responded to 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.
With 47 days until the US presidential election and oral arguments set to resume at the court in October, a political battle over her successor is likely to ensue.