JUDY BROWN, an outspoken jurist who has been a fixture on the US Supreme Court, died Thursday, according to a source familiar with the circumstances.
Brown, 81, a former judge, was the third African-American to hold the job since the appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts in 2013.
The third female, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, were appointed to the court in January.
Brown is one of the most prominent of the Supreme Court’s most prominent female jurists, serving as the nation’s chief justice for seven years.
She was a member of the court’s most conservative, swing vote and was known for her outspoken opinions on abortion rights and gay rights.
She wrote a dissent in the landmark 2013 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, which was widely considered one of her most important decisions.
In 2015, Brown joined a court decision that ruled against same-gender marriage rights in the states of Colorado and Wyoming.
The former chief justice also authored several books, including the 2015 book, “Jurisprudence of a Disenfranchised Nation: How Justice and the American Dream Are Under Siege,” and the 2016 book, which is still available.
She also wrote and co-wrote a novel, “Rough Justice.”
Brown, a judge for 25 years, served on the Supreme Committee of the United States Supreme Court and was the second female member of that body.
Her retirement came after nearly a decade on the bench.