Liberal America in mourning after death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Liberal America is in mourning. We saw that for ourselves on the marbled steps of the United States Supreme Court.

The crowd of a thousand people gathered to lay flowers, to embrace, to weep, to sing, and to promise each other they would continue the fight of the great jurist they had just lost.

We spoke to young women who felt the loss personally, viscerally; Americans who saw Ruth Bader Ginsberg as the diminutive fighter who was always in their corner.

That's why RBG was a rock star for young women.

  • Mourners pay tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg - an icon for those who sense their rights are under assault from the Trump Administration - is a significant blow for the left and for Democrats. It is in many ways more significant than other recent Supreme Court battles.

The last two Trump appointees have been replacing conservative Justices with like-minded jurists.

Now the prospect is of a major swing in the Court's ideological alignment.

And if the White House succeeds in replacing RBG with a right-wing Justice, then the battle will have just begun. For we may have a new President in January facing a court that opposes his inclusive and liberal agenda.

Ms Ginsburg was nominated to the court by Bill Clinton Credit: Marcy Nighswander/AP

That creates an endless cultural and legal battleground.

It also means that the Supreme Court has just eight justices going into this election. There will undoubtedly be legal disputes over voting rights. What happens if the Court breaks down 4-4 in a ruling? Then, there will be no deciding vote and paralysis follows.

For those on the left, everything is at stake.

Civil rights. Equality. Immigration reform. Gay rights. Transgender rights. Abortion. Reproductive rights. Women's rights.

That's why what we saw last night was just the tip of the iceberg.

A country already in the midst of a fraught election campaign has realized it could become even more divided over the next 45 days.

Trump has made clear he will act quickly to replace RBG. Democrats are expressing outrage.

This is just the start of a monumental political battle that will reopen America's deepest cultural rifts.