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The country reacts to the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'Her rest is earned'

"It is our turn to fight," said Kerry Washington.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might have been small in stature, but her impact on equal rights in the United States was so mighty that she became a millennial icon who was celebrated in film and television.

Ginsburg, 87, died on Friday surrounded by her family after a battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer. The loss of the most senior liberal member of the court, who worked tirelessly until her death, shocked her admirers in the political and entertainment worlds.

While leaving a campaign rally in Minnesota, President Donald Trump appeared to learn from reporters that Ginsburg had died. When a reporter broke the news to him, he responded, "She just died?"

"Wow. I didn't know that," he continued. "You are telling me that for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing women whether you agreed or not. She was an amazing women who led an amazing life. I am actually saddened to hear that."

Kerry Washington wrote on Twitter, "Her rest is earned. It is our turn to fight."

Actress and activist Alyssa Milano also shared her heartbreak upon hearing the news of Ginsburg's death.

"She was my hero. I never got to meet her," Milano wrote. "But I loved her and the way she moved through this world with such strength and grace and conviction. Rest In Peace, Ruth Bader Ginsberg."

Ginsburg's life was recently immortalized in the feature film "On the Basis of Sex," starring Felicity Jones as the legendary RBG and Armie Hammer as her husband, Martin Ginsburg. Both stars have yet to comment on Ginsburg's death, however Hammer previously shared a story in 2018 of meeting her at the Supreme Court.

"Her reputation so vastly proceeds her," Hammer said in a YouTube video. "To walk in and meet the human behind it was incredible. She was incredibly generous of her time and told us stories and really kind of regaled us with her accounts of everything that happened. It was amazing."

"I think the equal partnership Marty and Ruth shared in their marriage was really the template with which she applied to how she thought gender equality should be...they set the example in their own home that she then took out to the world and changed the world."

The directors of the documentary “RBG,” Betsy West and Julie Cohen, said in a statement: “Like so many Americans, we are crushed by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even had she not become a Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg earned a place in history for what she did to win equally for American women.

"When we asked her several years ago how she wanted she wanted to be remembered, she said with characteristic modesty, ‘Just as someone who did whatever she could, with whatever limited talent she had, to move society along in the direction I would like it to be for my children and grandchildren.'”

Former secretary of state and first lady Hillary Clinton credited Ginsburg for being a trailblazer for her pursuits, including becoming the first female presidential nominee from a major party.

"Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG," Clinton tweeted.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also shared his sadness and paid tribute to Ginsburg, who grew up in Brooklyn, New York.

"NY’s heart breaks with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg," Cuomo wrote. "During her extraordinary career, this Brooklyn native broke barriers & the letters RBG took on new meaning—as battle cry & inspiration. Her legal mind & dedication to justice leave an indelible mark on America."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi credited Ginsburg with making an impact that created new and equal opportunities for women and girls.

"Tonight, the flags are flying at half staff over the Capitol to honor the patriotism of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg," she wrote. "Every woman and girl, and therefore every family, in America has benefitted from her brilliance."

Mary Trump, President Trump's niece who wrote the tell-all book "Too Much and Never Enough," encouraged her followers to pause for a moment amid reports her uncle planned to put forward a nominee to fill Ginsburg's seat in the coming days.

"Take a moment. Breathe," she wrote. "And then we fight for our country the way she always did for us. Or we will lose everything.

RELATED: 20 inspiring and empowering quotes from the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg