In her dissent, Ginsburg wrote the court had "ventured into a minefield", adding it would disadvantage those employees "who do not share their employer's religious beliefs". His efforts came to fruition when President Bill Clinton appointed her to the highest court in the land in 1993.
Accolades flowed in for the pioneering Jewish justice.
"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature", Chief Justice John Roberts was quoted as saying in the court statement.
In July, Ginsburg said she was undergoing chemotherapy for lesions on her liver.
Whether or not he selects Barrett, Trump's likely nomination of a Supreme Court Justice to replace GInsburg has become a matter of serious political controversy, in an already fractious US political and social context.
USA flags flew at half-mast on each side of the court building.
She argued six key cases before the court in the 1970s when she was an architect of the women's rights movement.
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"Justice Ginsburg led one of the great lives in the history of American law", Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. "Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president's Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year". "I didn't know that", the Republican told reporters on an airport tarmac in Bemidji, Minnesota, where he'd just held a rally. "There's a very real fear that those things could be rolled back".
We want to hear from you. When Ms O'Connor retired in 2006, Justice Ginsburg was the only female justice on the court until Sonia Sotomayor joined the bench in 2009. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves an enormous legacy behind of upholding women's access to health care, voting rights and equality under the law for the LGBTQ community".
Republicans have a slim majority of 53 seats in the 100-member chamber, and several incumbents face challenges in their home states. Justice Ginsburg will forever be a feminist icon who inspired generations of young women-myself included-to follow their dreams, break through barriers and never let gender stand in the way. During her more than 40 years as a Judge and a Justice, she was served by 159 law clerks.
Thousands of people reacted to Ginsburg's death on social media. The closely divided court now had five justices with conservative bents and four liberals. This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016, when there were almost nine months before the election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has already vowed a full Senate vote on whoever the president nominates for Ginsburg's place, remaining consistent with the senator's earlier rule carved out in 2016 where the prohibition of confirming Supreme Court nominees in an election year only remained if the Senate and the White House were controlled by opposing parties.
Just before McConnell's statement was posted, Democratic Sen.
The quiet belied the likely political fight coming.
According to NPR radio, Ginsburg raised the issue this week with her granddaughter Clara Spera.