Leaders react with sadness, shock to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center on February 10, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Sarah Silbiger | Getty Images

U.S. leaders and top politicians responded with shock and sadness Friday evening after the Supreme Court announced that Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87.

Here is a collection of the sentiments shared by some of the nation’s former and current officials. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered Capitol Hill’s flags be lowered to half-staff while the White House did the same, according to spokespersons.

Former President George W. Bush

“Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She 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. Justice Ginsburg loved our country and the law. Laura and I are fortunate to have known this smart and humorous trailblazer, and we send our condolences to the Ginsburg family.”

Former President Jimmy Carter

“Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality, she has been a beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career. I was proud to have appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980. We join countless Americans in mourning the loss of a truly great woman. We will keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life. Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. She climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat of our nation’s highest court and into the pages of American history.”

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court. While I had many differences with her on legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. May she Rest In Peace.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is [devastating]. Justice Ginsberg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness, and her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who sacrifice and strive to build a better future for our children.”

“We must honor Justice Ginsburg’s trailblazing career and safeguard her powerful legacy by ensuring that the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court upholds her commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all. May it be a source of comfort to her children, Jane and James, her grandchildren Paul, Clara, Miranda and Abigail, and loved ones that so many people around the world mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

Attorney General William Barr

“On behalf of the Department of Justice, I extend my deepest sympathy on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Justice Ginsburg led one of the great lives in the history of American law.  She was a brilliant and successful litigator, an admired court of appeals judge, and a profoundly influential Supreme Court Justice.  For all her achievements in those roles, she will perhaps be remembered most for inspiring women in the legal profession and beyond.”

“She and I did not agree on every issue, but her legal ability, personal integrity, and determination were beyond doubt.  She leaves a towering legacy, and all who seek justice mourn her loss.” 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

“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.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

“Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.”



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