Tributes have been paid to US supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women's rights champion who became known as the Notorious RBG, who has died aged 87.

The court's second female justice died from complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, though she made few concessions to age and recurrent health problems in her latter years.

READ MORE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: US Supreme Court Justice dies aged 87

In her final years on the court, Ms Ginsburg was the unquestioned leader of the liberal justices, as outspoken in dissent as she was cautious in earlier years.

Speaking on the campaign trail in Minnesota, President Donald  Trump called Ms Ginsburg an "amazing woman", while not mentioning a plan for filling her vacant Supreme Court seat.

Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ms Ginsburg's passing.

"Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her - a tireless and resolute champion of justice."

Presidential candidate Joe Biden paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, calling the US Supreme Court judge a “beloved figure” who represented the highest American ideals.

Former president Barack Obama also released a statement following the news stating 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also took to social media to pay tribute writing: "Such sad news. And what a loss for the USA of a brilliantly clever woman - an icon of justice and women’s rights"

In a statement shortly before her death, Ginsberg said her dying wish was that she did not want her successor appointed to the Supreme Court until a new president had been installed.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement the Senate would vote on President Trump's pick to replace Ms Ginsburg, even though it is an election year.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden vigorously disagreed, declaring that "voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice to consider".