Influential US constitutional judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of cancer Friday at the age of 87. Appointed to the Supreme Court by then-US President Bill Clinton in 1993, she was hugely popular on the US left-wing liberal spectrum, including for her commitment to women’s rights.
The news of Ginsburg’s death caused much grief and consternation. Hundreds of people quickly gathered in front of the Supreme Court building to pay tribute to the life and work of the respected constitutional judge.
The flags at the courthouse and also at the White House were hoisted at half mast.
US President Donald Trump learned of Ginsburg’s death from journalists while on an election trip in the US state of Minnesota. ‘She died?’ He asked. “I didn’t know. She lived an incredible life. What more can you say about it?”
In a statement released later, Trump praised Ginsburg as the “titan of law.” She has proven that you can ‘disagree without feeling uncomfortable’. Her views were an inspiration to all Americans.
Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger in the Nov. 3 election, said Ginsburg as a judge embodied the highest American ideals. “She was a vote for freedom,” and fought ruthlessly for civil rights, Biden said.
“She was an American heroine,” Biden later wrote on Twitter.
Former US President Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993, praised her as “one of the most extraordinary justices to ever serve on the Supreme Court.” Her life and choices would have brought America closer to a more perfect community.
Nancy Pelosi, spokeswoman for the House of Representatives and President Trump’s Democratic opponent, wrote that Ginsburg embodied “justice, brilliance and goodness”. Her death is “an immeasurable loss to our democracy and to all who sacrifice and work so that our children have a better future.
Ginsburg was revered by many as a pop star – after the American rapper The Notorious BIG, she was nicknamed “Notorious RBG”. During the corona pandemic, photos of a poster in Washington made the rounds on social networks: “RBG operates less than five miles from here,” it said. “If you don’t wear a mask to protect your friends and family, do it to protect RBG.”
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Her sharply worded minority views were infamous in court, for which Ginsburg was mostly celebrated by many non-lawyers. A slogan also predominated in connection with her: “You cannot spell the truth without Ruth” – the English word for truth cannot be spelled without Ruth. (with agencies)