Maryanne Trump Barry, the elder sister of President Donald Trump and a senior federal judge, died Saturday at her home in Bedminster, New Jersey. She was 86.
Barry, who served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, was known for her command of the courtroom and her willingness to take on tough legal issues.
In a statement, President Trump paid tribute to his sister, calling her “a tireless judge devoted to equal justice under the law.”
“Her decisions were respected by her colleagues and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States,” the president added.
As a judge, Barry heard cases involving a variety of topics, from the nation’s immigration laws to child labor and privacy rights. She was particularly noted for her decisions on First Amendment issues. In one case, she wrote a concurring opinion upholding a New Jersey law requiring employers to provide health insurance to workers.
Barry was also an outspoken critic of the death penalty. In one of her most high-profile decisions, she struck down a New Jersey law that would have allowed prosecutors to use mandatory sentences in death penalty cases.
In addition to serving as a judge, Barry was also a graduate of Hofstra University’s School of Law and a faculty member at Rutgers University School of Law.
Her death was confirmed by her son-in-law, William Steinberg, who said the cause was age-related. Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Fred Barry; her five children; and her nine grandchildren.
Judge Barry will be remembered for her commitment to justice, her sharp intellect, and her dedication to the legal system. Her loss leaves a void in the legal community that will be felt for many years to come.