Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died

By Fernando Alfonso III, Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 8:10 a.m. ET, September 20, 2020
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1:58 p.m. ET, September 19, 2020

Where the search for a new Supreme Court justice stands

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

Judge Amy Coney Barrett delivers a speech at the University of Notre Dame's Law School commencement in 2018.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett delivers a speech at the University of Notre Dame's Law School commencement in 2018. Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune/AP

One source close to the process of searching for a new Supreme Court justice believes that the top of President Trump's list includes Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa and Amul Thapar.

In the run up to the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, Trump met with both Barrett and Thapar; it's unclear if he's had a face to face meeting with Lagoa.

Some history: Barrett, Trump's nominee to the 7th circuit, is a favorite of supporters of religious liberty who point to her extensive writings on faith and the law. During her confirmation hearing, ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, asked her if the "dogma lives loudly in her."

The comments infuriated Barrett's supporters, who said Feinstein was trying to apply a religious litmus test. In a 2013 publication affiliated with Notre Dame, Barrett was quoted as saying she thinks it is "very unlikely at this point" that the court is going to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Thapar is a long time favorite of Sen. Mitch McConnell. Thapar now sits on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. He was the first American of South Asian descent to be named to an Article III judgeship. Lagoa hails from Florida and was the first Hispanic woman and the first Cuban American woman on the Supreme Court in Florida. She has deep connections in the state that could be a battleground. 

Watch more:

11:56 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

What you need to know about the cancer that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was diagnosed with

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009. Earlier this year, she announced a recurrence of the cancer, having discovered lesions on her liver. 

Experts say that about 95% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will die from it. There are currently no general screening tools for pancreatic cancer, and there are often no symptoms in the early stages, when the tumor would be most treatable. The cancer is often discovered at more advanced stages, sometimes when it has spread to other organs, known as metastasis. 

The National Cancer Institute named pancreatic cancer as the third-leading cause of death from cancers, after lung and colorectal cancers in 2018.  The institute says that about 10% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will survive for five years or more.

The American Cancer Society estimates 57,600 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020 and 47,050 will die due to the cancer. 

Some context: Ginsburg is the second icon lost this year who battled with pancreatic cancer. 

Civil rights icon and late US Democratic Representative John Lewis was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year and died this July. 

Higher rates of pancreatic cancer are seen in men and African Americans. The risk of pancreatic cancer also increases with age. The average age of diagnosis is 71, and nearly 90% of patients are older than 55. 

CNN’s Elizabeth Landau contributed to this report.

11:34 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

"Notorious RBG" co-author explains Ginsburg’s "superhero status in American culture"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Shana Knizhnik, who created the blog Notorious RBG in 2013 and co-authored a book by the same name, explained why Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and work resonated with young people — and young women, in particular. 

Knizhnik discussed how the blog's name was inspired by the rapper Notorious B.I.G., a Brooklyn native, like Ginsburg.  

“It started out as a joke, right? It was sort of a play on contrasts between this amazing rapper who died very early in life and this diminutive…octogenarian Supreme Court justice,” Knizhnik, a lawyer, told CNN.

She said that Ginsburg served as a role model for many young people. 

“I think that her notoriety, her incredible, superhero status in American culture was something that people were sort of yearning for and especially young people and young women in particular. Because, you know, we just don't have that many role models to look up to who have achieved what she had achieved and also who had fought so much in her own life for the values that we're still fighting for today,” she said.

Ginsburg officiated Knizhnik’s wedding ceremony one year ago today. 

Watch more:

11:47 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

Gen Z women reflect on growing up with Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

Tom Brenner/Getty Images
Tom Brenner/Getty Images

For young women, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a role model who demonstrated what‘s possible for them.

Seeing a woman on the Supreme Court was inspirational, and that representation matters, said 20-year-old Eve Levenson, a junior at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Levenson met Justice Ginsburg during her first week of college, she told CNN.

“After [Ginsburg] finished her remarks to the group, I immediately raised my hand to ask a question: ‘What is your advice to women entering male dominated fields?’ Her answer was succinct and powerful: ‘Patience and persistence,’” Levenson said. 

“RBG was one of the main reasons I grew up believing that despite what anybody said about my religion, ethnicity, or gender that I could do anything I set my mind to,” Levenson, who is Jewish, added. “Seeing yourself represented in the highest court of the land is a powerful image.”

Kimberly Collins, a 20-year-old Black woman, is a member of Scales of Justice Academy, a program which exposes underserved girls to the legal profession, she said.

According to Collins, the most profound lesson Ginsburg taught her, “is that the fight for equity and justice is worth every single obstacle and setback,” she said.

“As a woman of color, it was not normal for me to connect or receive this kind of inspiration from the few women that had national platforms,” Collins told CNN. “Yet, I connected with RBG. With her it was different. I knew she was fighting for me.”

Ritika Iyer, a 20-year-old Hindu Indian woman, spoke to Ginsburg’s legacy of dissent.

“RBG taught me that it's ok to disagree and be vocal about it. As a women, I sometimes tend to not want to rock the boat. But the way she would vehemently dissent and refuse to put up with the status quo inspired me to be more vocal about my opinions,” she said.

11:11 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

New York state to honor Ginsburg with a statue in Brooklyn

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will honor the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a statue in Brooklyn, her birthplace.

"This statue will serve as a physical reminder of Justice Ginsburg's monumental contributions to the America we know today and as an inspiration for all," Cuomo tweeted.

Read his message:

11:01 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

Here are some of the signs left outside the Supreme Court in honor of Ginsburg

Mourners gathered this morning in front of the Supreme Court to pay tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Last night, hundreds of people showed up in front of the building after news broke that Ginsburg had died.

CNN's Ariane de Vogue shared photos of some of the signs placed at the makeshift vigil:

11:01 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

Kamala Harris visited the Supreme Court this morning

From CNN's MJ Lee

A campaign aide said Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff walked down to the Supreme Court this morning following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Mourners have been gathering in front of the building this morning to pay their respects to the late justice.

In a statement released overnight, Harris called Ginsburg "a relentless defender of justice in our country and a legal mind for the ages."

Harris tweeted the following photo from her visit:

11:22 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

Trump indicates he will move forward on appointing a nominee for Supreme Court without delay

From CNN's Sam Fossum, Clare Foran, Manu Raju and Ted Barrett

Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images
Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images

President Trump, in his first tweets of the day following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appeared to indicate that he will move forward on appointing a nominee "without delay." 

".@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!," Trump tweeted.

Some background: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed on Friday that whomever Trump nominates to replace Ginsburg will get a vote on the Senate floor.

GOP aides are skeptical that there is enough time to confirm a nominee before Nov. 3, given that Supreme Court nominees typically take two to three months to process, according to a review of recent confirmation proceedings.

But that process could be sped up if McConnell, who controls the majority of the chamber, has the votes to confirm a replacement, and there is enough time to confirm someone in a lame-duck session of Congress after the November elections.

11:25 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020

Flags in Texas to be lowered in Ginsburg's honor, governor says

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gov. Greg Abbott today ordered all Texas flags to be lowered to honor the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

"My heart goes out to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s family, and Cecilia and I are keeping them in our prayers," Abbott said in a statement. "Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer of keen intellect and will be remembered as a judicial giant. She put service above self and leaves behind a grateful nation." 

Abbott's decision to lower the flags follows similar actions from the governors of Kentucky and Connecticut.