US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an iconic champion of women’s rights, has died of cancer at the age of 87, the court has said.
Ginsburg was said to be the oldest judge on the US supreme court
Ginsburg died on Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington, DC, surrounded by her family, the statement said.
Earlier this year, Ginsburg said she was undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer.
A prominent feminist, she became a figurehead for liberals in the US.
Ginsburg was the oldest justice and the second ever woman to sit on the Supreme Court, where she served for 27 years.
“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement on Friday. “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.”
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As one of four liberal justices on the court, her health was watched closely. Ginsburg’s death raises the prospect of Republican US President Donald Trump trying to expand the court’s slender conservative majority, even before this November’s election.
In the days before her death, Ginsburg expressed her strong disapproval of such a move. “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she wrote in a statement to her granddaughter, according to National Public Radio (NPR). .
President Trump is expected to nominate a conservative replacement for Ginsburg as soon as possible, White House sources told BBC partner CBS News.
Trump reacted to Ginsburg’s death after an election rally in Minnesota, saying: “I didn’t know that. She led an amazing life, what else can you say?”
Later on, Mr Trump said Ginsburg was a “titan of the law” and a “brilliant mind”, in a tweeted statement .