Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of civil rights for LGBTs, women, and many others, has died at age 87.
Ginsburg died Friday evening at her home in Washington, D.C., of complications from recurring pancreatic cancer, according to a news release from the court.
Appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993, she was the second woman to serve on the high court, after Sandra Day O’Connor.
Her death raises fears that any replacement appointed by Donald Trump will increase the court’s conservative majority. She was one of four reliably liberal justices, with Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.
A few days ago, she had dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Sera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said there will be a vote on a nominee, even though he denied a vote to President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 because it was an election year.
Ginsburg joined in all the court’s major pro-LGBT+ rulings during her tenure: 1996’s Romer v. Evans, which struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2, a voter-passed measure that prevented the state or any of its cities and counties from banning discrimination based on sexual orientation; 2003’s Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down all remaining state antisodomy laws; 2013’s U.S. v. Windsor, invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act section that denied federal government recognition to same-sex marriages; Hollingsworth v. Perry, also in 2013, which ended California’s anti-marriage equality Proposition 8 for good; 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, establishing marriage equality nationwide; and this year’s Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the court ruled that federal law against sex discrimination in employment included discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.