Feminist icon and legal powerhouse Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the Supreme Court of the United States announced. She died in her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by her family.
In many of her famous cases, she was a dissenting voice: In 2014, she wrote a passionate dissent from the court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which allowed some companies to refuse to comply with a federal mandate to cover birth control in healthcare plans on religious grounds. She said this would "deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs, access to contraceptive coverage."
Ginsburg's death will have a deep effect on the Supreme Court and the United States. It gives Republicans their long-awaited chance to have a 6-3 conservative majority in the highest court, which they would certainly get with another Trump appointment. A week after the upcoming presidential election, the court is scheduled to hear a challenge by Republicans to the Affordable Care Act. While the court has upheld the ACA before, this time, the outcome could be chilling.
"My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg said to her granddaughter Clara Spera days before her death. Unfortunately, her wish may not come true, and her death will set in motion a significant political battle ahead of the presidential election. But the many who mourn her know that she would tell us to keep fighting.