‘Champion of justice’: Social media reacts to Ginsburg’s death

News of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prompted bipartisan reactions of sympathy and respect across social media, from every political spectrum.

Ginsburg died in her Washington home at age 87, the court said. She died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Politicians, lawmakers, celebrities and others took to Twitter to reflect on Ginsburg’s life, including U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who called her an “extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights,” and former President George W. Bush, who said Ginsburg "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.”

President Donald Trump, who is expected to announce his nomination to replace Ginsburg in the coming days, said Ginsburg was “an amazing woman who led an amazing life.”

Here is the president’s statement:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden honored Ginsburg after he landed in Delaware. She was “not only a giant in the legal profession but a beloved figure,” Biden said.

Here is Biden’s complete statement:

President Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg, said she “exceeded even my highest expectations.”

Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ginsburg’s passing.

“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. 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 tireless and resolute champion of justice,” Roberts said in a statement.

Ginsburg announced in July that she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lesions on her liver, the latest of her several battles with cancer.

Those health issues included five bouts with cancer beginning in 1999, falls that resulted in broken ribs, insertion of a stent to clear a blocked artery and assorted other hospitalizations after she turned 75.

In 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and received radiation and chemotherapy. She had surgery again in 2009 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and in December 2018 for cancerous growths on her left lung. Following the last surgery, she missed court sessions for the first time in more than 25 years on the bench.

Ginsburg also was treated with radiation for a tumor on her pancreas in August 2019. She maintained an active schedule even during the three weeks of radiation. When she revealed a recurrence of her cancer in July, Ginsburg said she remained “fully able” to continue as a justice.

Joan Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, the second daughter in a middle-class family. Her older sister, who gave her the lifelong nickname “Kiki,” died at age 6, so Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section as an only child. Her dream, she has said, was to be an opera singer.

Ginsburg graduated at the top of her Columbia University law school class in 1959 but could not find a law firm willing to hire her. She had “three strikes against her” — for being Jewish, female and a mother, as she put it in 2007.

She had married her husband, Martin, in 1954, the year she graduated from Cornell University. She attended Harvard University’s law school but transferred to Columbia when her husband took a law job there.

Martin Ginsburg went on to become a prominent tax attorney and law professor. Martin Ginsburg died in 2010. She is survived by two children, Jane and James, and several grandchildren.

Ginsburg once said she had not entered the law as an equal-rights champion. “I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other,” she wrote. “I have no talent in the arts, but I do write fairly well and analyze problems clearly.”