Gov. Wolf orders flags to half-staff, local officials react to death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

PITTSBURGH — Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all U.S. and Pa. flags throughout the state to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Justice Ginsburg was a truly remarkable figure in American history, as both a tireless defender of the Constitution, and as a pioneer for gender equality,” Wolf said in a press release. “Justice Ginsburg’s historic opinions from the bench broke down barriers for women and protected the vulnerable. Her contributions to our country cannot be overstated.”

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The state flag has flown at half-staff since March 11 in honor of the victims of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All Pa. residents are invited to participate in the tribute by lowering U.S. flags and state flags to half-staff until guidance from the White House.

Ginsburg died of “complications of metastatic pancreas cancer,” the Supreme Court said in a statement.

Leaders from around the state have issued statements reacting to Ginsburg’s death.

Sen. Pat Toomey:

“Our nation mourns the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Renowned for her legal intellect and sharp opinions, Justice Ginsburg served on our nation’s highest court for nearly three decades with distinction and honor. As just the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer in the legal profession. While I usually disagreed with her legal and political views, she proved time and again that it is possible to disagree with someone without being disagreeable. Simply put, Justice Ginsburg left an indelible mark that will resonate for generations. I extend my prayers and deepest condolences to Justice Ginsburg’s family, friends, and colleagues.”

Sen. Bob Casey:

“Tonight our Nation mourns the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a pioneer for gender equality, a champion for human rights and a fierce defender of workers on an increasingly corporate Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg served our Nation honorably and with distinction for four decades. Her heroic battles with cancer inspired countless Americans. I extend condolences to her family and may her memory be a blessing to millions of Americans. Consistent with the precedent set by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2016, Justice Ginsburg’s seat should not be filled until the presidential election concludes and the candidate chosen by voters is sworn into office.”

Gov. Tom Wolf:

"Frances and I offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a truly remarkable figure in American history, as both a tireless defender of the Constitution, and as a pioneer for gender equality. Justice Ginsburg’s historic opinions from the bench broke down barriers for women and protected the vulnerable. Her contributions to our country cannot be overstated. Justice Ginsburg’s life and career have made America a more fair and equitable place. She was a tireless pioneer and made monumental and lasting contributions on issues such as gender equality, a woman’s right to choose, voting rights, immigration, health care and affirmative action. Justice Ginsburg never shied away from standing out by standing up for civil rights and equal protections. We join the country in mourning the passing of Justice Ginsburg.”

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald:

“This country has lost a true trailblazer in the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Someone who spent her life working to correct injustice. Her intellect, strength of character, and determination led to groundbreaking changes in law. She was an inspiration to generations of women whose paths were made easier because of the work of RBG. She will be sorely missed.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto: