Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush remembered the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an inspiration for women and girls across the country during her career. Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the court and just one of four confirmed to the court. Ginsburg, who dedicated her career to fighting for gender equality, died at 87 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg," Bush said in a statement Friday evening. "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 also honored Ginsburg with a statement Friday night. He called Ginsburg a "powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality," as well as a "beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career." Cater appointed Ginsberg to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980, and she served on the court until President Bill Clinton nominated her for the Supreme Court in 1993.
One of the most important cases of Ginsburg's career was Bush v. Gore, which decided the 2000 Presidential election for President Bush. Ginsburg was one of the dissenters in the 5-4 vote. In February 2001, Ginsburg criticized the decision publicly, saying the case was an example of "how important — and difficult — it is for judges to do what is legally right, no matter what 'the home crowd' wants," the Washington Post reported at the time.
In his statement Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by Bush, called Ginsburg a "justice of historic statute" and a "cherished" colleague. "Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice," Roberts wrote.
Ginsburg's death means Roberts will not be the swing vote in the upcoming Supreme Court term. If President Donald Trump gets another justice confirmed on the court, the conservative wing will have a 6-3 majority. Days before her death, Ginsburg told her granddaughter Clara Spara, "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," reports NPR.