Barack Obama reacts to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Former president Barack Obama is a self-confessed, unabashed admirer of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and he would go out of his way to single her out during his time in office. At one Hanukkah party in 2013 Obama was heard saying, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is here. We are thrilled to see her. She’s one of my favorites. I’ve got a soft spot for Justice Ginsburg.” The affection was returned by Ginsburg, who was known to have kept a framed photograph of herself and the president in her chambers, hugging, during a State of the Union address (via The Cut).

So it’s not too surprising that Obama would post a touching tribute to Ginsburg, after the world learned she passed away from complications of pancreatic cancer on Friday, September 18. 

Commenting on the news of Ginsburg’s death, the loss seems personal for the former president and first lady Michelle Obama. Barack Obama posted his tribute to Ginsburg on Instagram, saying, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals. That’s how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored.”

Barack Obama admired Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her work in gender equality

The former president also released a more formal statement saying, “Sixty years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg applied to be a Supreme Court clerk. She’d studied at two of our finest law schools and had ringing recommendations. But because she was a woman, she was rejected. Ten years later, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court — which led it to strike down a state law based on gender discrimination for the first time. And then, for nearly three decades, as the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American.”

He continued, “Justice Ginsberg inspired the generations who followed her, from the tiniest trick-or-treaters to law students burning the midnight oil to the most powerful leaders in the land. Michelle and I admired her greatly, we’re profoundly thankful for the legacy she left this country, and we offer our gratitude and condolences to her children and grandchildren tonight.”

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