Towering Supreme Court figure and icon to the women's rights movement Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday evening.
The Associate Justice passed away from complications of metastatic pancreas cancer, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court of the United States shared. Ginsburg at the age of 87, surrounded by her family and friends.
Ginsburg had been in and out of the hospital for decades for cancer treatment, most recently undergoing chemotherapy in the summer of 2020, but had repeatedly said she had no intention of retiring so long as she felt capable of doing the job.
Justice Ginsburg was the longest serving woman on the Supreme Court, and while she had described her legal approach to the law as cautious and measured, her time on the bench was marked by a strong liberal voice on the cases that came before the court.
Ginsburg was the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, nominated by President Bill Clinton in1993. She quickly distinguished herself not only in office, but in popular culture by her legal dissents, for which she often wore a special judicial collar.
Justice Ginsburg is credited as an architect of women's rights in America's legal system.
During her 27-year tenure, one of her most famous dissents stemmed from Ledbetter v. Goodyear, in which Lilly Ledbetter sued her employer, claiming pay discrimination based on gender. Though in the minority for the 5-4 decision that ruled against Ledbetter, Ginsburg took the rare step of reading her dissent from the bench, and the Supreme Court's decision and Ginsburg's pushback inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Her death leaves a huge gap on the bench, but what remains uncertain is the impact it will leave on the future. The seat vacancy on the highest court in the land will undoubtedly be a new centerpoint leading into the 2020 Presidential Election.
Under the United States Constitution, the President of the United States nominates candidates to fill an empty Supreme Court seat. The candidate undergoes hearings before confirmation by the Senate.
One option for President Trump though, lies in the Bluegrass: the Commonwealth's top lawyer could possibly fill the now-vacant Supreme Court role.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron made Trump's short-list of candidates just over a week ago.
President Trump, at the time and prior to Ginsburg's death, intended to use the coveted list to remind conservative voters what's at stake, a tactic carried over from the 2016 election.