US Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87 after suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Ginsburg died at home in Washington DC surrounded by her family.
She was a member of the US Supreme Court since 1993 and was well regarded as a champion for LGBT+ rights.
In a statement, US Chief Justice John Roberts said: “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. 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.”
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will spark an intense battle over her replacement ahead of the US Presidential election in November. It is generally considered that following the appointment of two judges by US President Donald Trump, there is a Conservative majority of five to four in most cases.
Ginsburg has earned an unlikely following among LGBT+ liberals in recent years thanks to her unwavering support for equality.
She attracted fury from conservatives by performing several same-sex weddings herself ahead of the court’s 2015 ruling on the issue.
Her frequent dissents from the court’s more conservative justices earned her the nickname ‘Notorious RBG’.
She penned one such dissent in 2018 as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a bakery that refused to serve a same-sex couple.
In her dissent, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Ginsburg wrote: “I strongly disagree with the Court’s conclusion that [gay couple] Craig and Mullins should lose this case.”
Asserting that the actions of the baker were discrimination, she wrote: “[The baker] Phillips declined to make a cake he found offensive where the offensiveness of the product was determined solely by the identity of the customer requesting it.
“When a couple contacts a bakery for a wedding cake, the product they are seeking is a cake celebrating their wedding — not a cake celebrating heterosexual weddings or same-sex weddings — and that is the service Craig and Mullins were denied.”
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