Ginsberg, who had several previous battles with cancer, died of metastatic cancer of the pancreas. She died in her home surrounded by her family.
"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John 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 tireless and resolute champion of justice."
Ginsberg made history by being the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
According to her granddaughter Clara Spera, Ginsberg said her "most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," according to NPR.
In addition to widespread praise for her accomplishments and service to the country, Ginsberg’s death sparked political debate about how and when to fill the newly vacant spot on the high court.
Following the death of Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13, 2016, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said “the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer tweeted out the same exact statement following Ginsberg’s death. Both 2016 and 2020 are election years. Scalia died almost nine months prior to the election. Ginsberg died about a month and a half before the 2020 election.
Following McConnell’s statement in 2016, he refused to bring President Obama’s pick, Judge Merrick Garland, to the Senate floor for a vote. The vacancy was eventually filled with Judge Neil Gorsuch, a trump appointee, after sitting vacant for more than a year. However, on Friday night, McConnell said Trump’s nominee to fill the void left by Ginsberg “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” according to Fox News.