Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87, according to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Appointed to the nation’s highest court in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton, Ginsburg was the oldest sitting member on the court. Despite a lengthy career on the court, she had never missed arguments until January 2019.
In the days before her death, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter that focused on her wishes.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg said to her granddaughter Clara Spera, according to NPR.
Washington leaders are reacting to Ginsburg's passing.
Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee tweeted, "We have lost one of the greatest American patriots to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves an enormous legacy behind of upholding women’s access to health care, voting rights and equality under the law for the LGBTQ community."
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted, "Devastating. A pioneer who inspired so many, particularly young girls. We must extend her legacy by continuing the fight for true equity, for upholding the constitution, and for a country that lives up to its promise. Thank you, RBG."
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said in a statement, "Justice Ginsburg was a giant—our longest-serving female Supreme Court Justice. She will be remembered as a fierce warrior against gender discrimination. Every woman who has ever had to advocate for the law owes her a great debt of gratitude. We have lost a real hero. Justice Ginsburg stood by the most vulnerable in her decisions, from ending single sex admission policies and protecting rights for those with mental disabilities to her dissents standing up for voting rights and paving the way for Congress to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which strengthens protections against pay discrimination. My thoughts are with her family, friends, and everyone in our country who looked up to her for inspiration and comfort.”
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) tweeted, "I’ll remember her as a friend, a role model, and a woman who opened doors for all the rest of us with her genius and her relentless pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality for each and every one of us, no matter who we are."
Rep. Pramila Jayapal tweeted, "In honor of her inspiring life, powerful legacy, and pursuit for justice, let us continue her work. I am committed to carrying on the work necessary to make our country more equal, more fair, and more just. May Justice Ginsburg’s memory be a blessing. And may she rest in power."
King County Executive Dow Constantine tweeted, "Her dedication to fighting for the rights of all did not begin with her appointment to the high court, nor will her impact on our shared history end with her passing today. Her service, her dedication to the law, and her life story is quintessentially American."
Rep. Adam Smith tweeted, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life-long work to expand the rights of all Americans has enshrined her mark on our country's history & will serve as an inspiration for generations to come. I extend my deepest condolences to her family & my sincerest gratitude to Justice Ginsberg."
King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci issued the following statement:
“Justice Ginsburg’s service and accomplishments to our nation as a lawyer and scholar on gender equality and women’s rights are unparalled and historic. As co-founder the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, she helped lead the fight against gender discrimination and as a practicing lawyer, her contributions to advance the rights of women under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution last to this day.
As a Justice, her strong, principled and unwavering positions have inspired me personally to stand up for what is right. I mourn her passing and take solace that her legacy will continue as we collectively work to advance the work to make a more just and equitable society.
Justice Ginsburg heroically fought for equity and justice to the very end. Let us offer condolences to her family and loved ones and honor her legacy.”