Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at her home earlier today in Washington D.C. surrounded by family. She was 87. Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court and is widely regarded as the leader of the court’s liberal wing.
Governor J.B. Pritzker issued the following statement on Ginsburg’s passing: “America has lost an icon and inspiration. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was first a trailblazer and then a bulwark for equality, whether you are a woman, gay, a person of color, or disabled. Just as importantly, she was a shining role model for girls everywhere – a testament to working hard and fighting for what’s right. Her legacy will endure, but only if we fight as hard as she did to protect it. MK and I grieve for Justice Ginsburg’s family, friends and followers – but most of all, our entire nation. Our prayer is that we honor this giant by honoring her fervent dying wish.”
Senior Illinois Senator Dick Durbin issued the following statement: “The Supreme Court’s most valiant champion for justice in our lifetime is gone. Justice Ginsburg was an American hero. Please remember Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s demand that Supreme Court vacancies go unfilled during a presidential election year, which was also Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish. Senator McConnell pleaded with us to let the voters have the last word [in 2016]. Every member of the Senate should be asked to commit to the McConnell Rule. Rest in Peace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth also weighed in: “There are no words to adequately express just how devastated and heartbroken I am to learn of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not only did our nation lose a brilliant jurist, we lost a hero – a 5’1″ giant who gave a voice to girls and women everywhere and moved the needle forward in our long fight toward justice and equality for all. Like so, so many other Americans tonight, I am deeply grateful for all that Justice Ginsburg did to ensure equal protection under the law for women across this country and to defend the rights of so many others. She will be sorely missed, but her unparalleled legacy and impact will never be forgotten. Tonight we are devastated, but tomorrow we will roll up our sleeves and keep working. We must honor her legacy by redoubling our efforts to safeguard the rights of women, the rights of Americans with disabilities, and the rights of all Americans for future generations. We cannot let up now.”
Ginsburg’s death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.