Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a stalwart liberal justice on the US Supreme Court, has died at age eighty-seven.
She passed away on Friday evening due to complications from pancreatic cancer.
A statement by the US Supreme Court said Justice Ginsburg died at her home in Washington DC surrounded by her family.
The second woman appointed to the apex court, Justice Ginsburg served for twenty-seven years after being appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Her departure could dramatically alter the ideological balance of the court, which currently has a 5-4 conservative majority.
Her demise gives Republican US President Donald Trump a chance to increase the court’s conservative majority.
According to American public radio network NPR, Justice Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter just days before her death, as her strength waned: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Speaking briefly to reporters before boarding Air Force One on Saturday, Mr. Trump did not mention any potential plans to nominate a replacement for Justice Ginsburg, saying he was saddened by her death.
“She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agree or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life” he said.
US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden praised Justice Ginsburg, saying she was “not only a giant of the legal profession but a beloved figure”.
The process of replacing her should not begin until after the election, Mr. Biden said.
Justice Ginsburg spent her final years on the Bench as the leader of the court’s liberal wing.
She suffered several health issues, including five bouts of cancer.