Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died, the Supreme Court announced Friday evening.
The cause was “complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer,” according to a statement released by the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg was one of the Court’s stalwart liberals, and became known — and admired — as much for her physical tenacity as her ideological consistency.
Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn and attended Cornell University. She was the only woman in her first-year class at Harvard Law School, according to a former classmate, before transferring to Columbia. “She was a nice person,” the former classmate told Breitbart News. Ginsburg’s potential was evident immediately. Her former classmate recalled telling colleagues, upon the retirement of Justice Byron White in 1993: “If [President Bill] Clinton has any brains he’ll nominate Ruth Ginsburg.”
As a judge on the D.C. Circuit, Ginsburg had established a solidly liberal record. But as constitutional scholar Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute notes in his forthcoming book Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court, Ginsburg perfected the relatively new art of concealing her judicial views during the confirmation process — a reaction to the way that conservative Judge Robert Bork was grilled by then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) and others in 1987.
Once on the Court, Ginsburg was a reliable liberal vote, though also well-liked by her conservative colleagues. She and the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia enjoyed a famous friendship before his passing — also during an election year, in 2016. She was less well known for her judicial opinions (often in the dissenting minority) than for her outside utterances on constitutional law, jurisprudence, and occasionally politics — which often raised eyebrows and stirred controversy.
She told Egyptian television in 2012, as noted by Foreign Policy: “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa … That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary. … It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the U.S. Constitution. full storyFollow Elite Feed!