Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died aged 87 (J Scott Applewhite/AP)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

A diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, Ms Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Ms Ginsburg announced in July she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lesions on her liver, the latest of her several battles with cancer.

She spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court’s liberal wing and became something of a rock star figure to her admirers.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg enjoyed rock star-like status among her followers (Alex Brandon/AP)

Young women especially seemed to embrace the court’s Jewish grandmother, affectionately calling her the Notorious RBG, for her defence of the rights of women and minorities, and the strength and resilience she displayed in the face of personal loss and health crises.

Those health issues included five bouts with cancer beginning in 1999, falls that resulted in broken ribs, insertion of a stent to clear a blocked artery and assorted other hospital treatments after she turned 75.

She resisted calls by liberals to retire during Barack Obama’s presidency at a time when Democrats held the Senate and a replacement with similar views could have been confirmed.

Instead, President Donald Trump will almost certainly try to push Ginsburg’s successor through the Republican-controlled Senate — and move the conservative court even more to the right.

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