Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died

On this day: August 10
Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Wikimedia Commons
1993: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sworn in as the second female Supreme Court justice.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, has died at her home in Washington.

She was 87. Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

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

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

Young women especially seemed to embrace the court’s Jewish grandmother, affectionately calling her the Notorious RBG.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court to mourn the death of Ginsburg.

Dozens in the crowd were lighting candles on Friday night and sat somberly on the high court’s steps.

The crowd left candles, flowers, small American flags and handwritten condolence messages. Some wept as they placed the bouquets of flowers on the steps. “RBG” was also drawn inside a pink chalk heart in the sidewalk. Flags outside the court were also flying at half staff.

Jennifer Berger was among those who had gathered outside the courthouse. The 37-year-old said she wanted to show her support and pay tribute to Ginsburg.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Ginsburg, even though it’s an election year.

The Republican Senate leader issued a statement Friday night, about an hour and a half after the Supreme Court announced Ginsburg’s death.

When conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, also an election year, McConnell refused to act on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the opening. The seat remained vacant until after Trump’s surprising presidential victory.

Trump ended up nominating Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed to the court.

The 2020 election is 46 days away.

McConnell had earlier said he would move to confirm a Trump nominee if there were a vacancy this year.