Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last appearances before she died aged 87 of metastatic pancreatic cancer was officiating an outdoor wedding for family friends last month.
The judge, only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, passed away Friday evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C. following complications with her illness.
Ginsburg, who served for 27 years on the highest court of the land, had battled several bouts of cancer after first being diagnosed in 2009.
But in August, a tweet from a new bride brought the first sighting of an ailing Ginsburg in months.
The photo of the Ginsburg, who announced in July she was being treated for cancer, shows her during the wedding ceremony of Barb Solish and Danny Kazin, according to Solish’s Twitter feed.
‘2020 has been rough, but yesterday was Supreme,’ Solish tweeted.
In the photo, Ginsburg was wearing her judicial robe with a decorative black-and-white embroidered collar.
The justice was a close friend of one of the families and the festivities took place outdoors at a private residence, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.
Solish noted on Twitter that both she and her husband ‘tested negative’ before the ceremony, presumably for COVID-19.
Solish works as the Director for External Communications at National Alliance on Mental Illness, while in 2019 Kazin led as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure director, per Politico.
Ginsburg and the rest of the court essentially disappeared from view when the court in March was closed to the public because of the virus outbreak.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (pictured) was considered by many to be a legal pioneer who broke down barriers for women pursuing law practices. Pictured: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses during a group portrait session for the new full court at the Supreme Court in Washington in 2018
The justices began meeting by telephone and held arguments by phone in May, their voices but not their images available to the public.
The court handed down opinions into the middle of July, but the justices did not take the bench to announce their decisions as they customarily do. Rather, opinions were posted online.
Shortly after the court finished its work for the summer, Ginsburg announced she was undergoing chemotherapy to treat lesions on her liver.
It was the fifth time she’s dealt with cancer in the past 20 years. At the same time, she said she would continue to serve on the court.
Her death paves the way for Donald Trump to expand his conservative majority on the Supreme Court ahead of November’s election.
Ginsburg, the leader of the court’s four-member liberal wing, voiced concerns about the political impact of her passing in the days leading up to her death.
The US Supreme Court (front left to right) Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., (back left to right) Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh pose for their official portrait at the Supreme Court building November 2018
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (center) hugs tenor Placido Domingo after Domingo sang a portion of Ginsburg’s citation for her honorary Doctor of Laws degree, during the 360th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2011
‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,’ the legal pioneer said in a statement dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death.
Chief Justice John Roberts led tributes to his colleague Friday describing her as a ‘champion of justice’.
‘Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,’ Roberts said in a statement.
‘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 tired and resolute champion of justice.’
Former President Bill Clinton (left) poses with then-nominee for the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg (right) during a news conference in Washington in 1993
Tributes poured in from political leaders including former president George Bush, Hillary Clinton, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Hillary Clinton tweeted that Ginsburg, a staunch advocate for women’s rights, paved the way for other women.
‘Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG,’ Clinton wrote.
Former president George Bush also paid tribute to Ginsburg in a statement Friday.
‘Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She dedicated many of her 87 remarkable years to the pursuit of justice and equality, and she inspired more than one generation of women and girls,’ he said.
The judge, only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, passed away Friday evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C. following complications with her illness, the court said in a statement
‘Justice Ginsburg loved our country and the law. Laura and I are fortunate to have known this smart and humorous trailblazr, and we send our condolences to the Ginsburg family’.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke of the state’s heartbreak over the loss over one of its own.
‘NY’s heart breaks with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,’ the Democrat tweeted.
‘During her extraordinary career, this Brooklyn native broke barriers & the letters RBG took on new meaning—as battle cry & inspiration. Her legal mind & dedication to justice leave an indelible mark on America.’
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, also a Democrat, described her as an ‘American hero’ and demanded that her ‘dying wish’ to not be replaced on the bench until after the election be respected.
He tweeted: ‘We have lost an American hero and a giant of justice.
‘May we honor Justice Ginsburg’s legacy by fighting for the civil rights of all Americans and respect her dying wish that she “will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”’
Tributes poured in from political leaders including former president George Bush, Hillary Clinton, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
His words were echoed by Senator Cory Booker who urged the nation to carry on ‘her legacy of fairness and equality’.
‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a true giant, an American hero and a warrior for justice,’ Booker tweeted.
‘Our country mourns her loss deeply—we must honor her by carrying on her legacy of fairness and equality.’
Tributes also poured in from those on the other side of the political spectrum.
Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted that he was filled with ‘great sadness’ at the news and that despite their ‘many differences’ he ‘appreciate[d] her service to our nation’.
‘It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court,’ he wrote.
Tributes also poured in from those on the other side of the political spectrum
‘While I had many differences with her on legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. May she Rest In Peace.’
President Trump is yet to tweet about her passing however estranged niece Mary Trump urged Americans to continue her ‘fight for our country’.
‘Take a moment. Breathe. And then we fight for our country the way she always did for us. Or we will lose everything,’ she wrote on Twitter.
Ginsburg’s death gives Trump the opportunity to name her successor at a critical time just six weeks before the nation heads to the polls.
The president has already appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, in a move that pushes the court increasingly right wing.
The replacement of Ginsburg, a Democrat and women’s rights champion, by another Republican will leave the court Democrats outnumbered, with six Republicans to their three.
A debate is expected to ensue over whether Trump should nominate her successor or leave the seat vacant until after the outcome of the election.
Senator Chuck Schumer tweeted Friday after the news broke of Ginsburg’s death that the position should not be filled until the White House race was over.
‘The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,’ he tweeted.
‘Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.’
Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993 and has served more than 27 years.
She leaves behind her two children Jane Carol Ginsburg and James Steven Ginsburg, four grandchildren Paul Spera, Clara Spera, Miranda Ginsburg and Abigail Ginsburg, two step-grandchildren Harjinder Bedi and Satinder Bedi, and one great-grandchild Lucrezia Spera.
Her husband Martin David Ginsburg died in 2010.
Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 15 1933.