Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away at 87 after a fight with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Friday's development gives President Donald Trump the authority to name her replacement and Senate Republicans have already promised to do so before the election.
President Trump has already named Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh since his arrival in 2016. Those additions moved the court further right and Bader's passing may bring that movement into sharp focus ahead of November's election. Justice Ginsburg was the leader of the court's four-member liberal wing and her passing could create a six to three Republican advantage in the Senate.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made a statement on Ginsburg's behalf:
"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature, Roberts Jr. said. "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."
Ginsburg was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton with a track record of progressive views on abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care, and affirmative action. She would inherit the nickname "Notorious R.B.G" from her liberal audiences over the years.
Known as a women's activist and is best known for her opinion she wrote in United States v. Virginia:
"The constitutional violation in this case is the categorical exclusion of women from an extraordinary educational opportunity afforded men," she wrote in 1996.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg suffered from five different bouts with cancer, with her final fight beginning in early 2020. She leaves behind two children.