Celebrities React To Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Heartbreaking Death

For many across the globe, 2020 has been marked by sadness, struggle, and loss. Yet, while Americans continue to battle the hardships spawned by coronavirus, climate change, and racial injustice, on Sept. 18, 2020, the country's legal system took an especially painful blow when Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at age 87 due to complications from "metastatic pancreas cancer" (per CNN).

In the years leading up to her death, Ginsburg gained widespread internet fame after law student Shana Knizhnik created the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr, which paid homage to the Supreme Court justice in a way that harkened back to the legacy of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. When the blog went viral, Knizhnik partnered with journalist Irin Carmon to write 2015's Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which celebrated Ginsburg's monumental ascent to the bench.

"[Ginsburg] is somebody who is trying to bring into the courtroom the interests of people who are not usually represented there," Camron told Cosmopolitan in 2015. "She is trying to bring interpretations of the law and the Constitution in line with the realities for women, people of color, gay people, people who haven't been traditionally represented in the court. The enthusiasm and the excitement are really onto something." And now, as the public mourns Ginsburg's death, both celebrities and politicians have also taken to social media to express their sorrow as they honor the iconic judge's life and legacy.

Hollywood's biggest names celebrated Ruth Bader Ginsburg's enduring legacy

As news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death spread across the internet, Hollywood's biggest names took to social media to celebrate the late icon's unmatched influence on American democracy. "Thank you for fighting for us," Legally Blonde star Reese Witherspoon wrote on Instagram. "May your legacy be our motivation to be actively in pursuit of true justice for all. Rest in Power."

"No 2020!!! No! No! Not now! Not this WOMAN!!! Please work your supreme magic, brilliant mind, and courage from Heaven!! Help us down here!" Oscar-winner Viola Davis added (via Instagram). "Thank you for your service Queen!! Rest in glorious peace."

Padma Lakshmi, who came to know Justice Ginsburg as "Ruth" while filming her show Taste the Nation, also paid special tribute to the "kind, curious and lovely" judge. "I cannot tell you what a loss this is for me personally, for women everywhere and for our country," the host wrote on Instagram. "She started the women's rights project at the ACLU many years ago and my work and the work of so many would not be possible if she hadn't paved the way for us. She was someone I have admired so much for so many years, someone I looked up to... A tall tree has fallen in our forest." Ginsburg cleared the path for many women and these female stars captured her impact perfectly.

Barack Obama honored the 'relentless litigator' and 'incisive jurist'

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was only the second woman of four total to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 (per CNN), Ginsburg maintained her liberal stance under both Democratic and Republican leadership. Thus, it's no surprise that former president Barack Obama took to Instagram to honor this "warrior for gender equality... who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American."

"Over a long career on both sides of the bench — as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist — Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn't about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn't only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us," Obama wrote. "It's about who we are and who we can be."

"Justice Ginsburg inspired the generations who followed her, from the tiniest trick-or-treaters to law students burning the midnight oil to the most powerful leaders in the land," he added. "Michelle and I admired her greatly, we're profoundly thankful for the legacy she left this country, and we offer our gratitude and our condolences to her children and grandchildren tonight." In his caption, Obama also urged current government leaders to honor Ginsburg's dying wish, which was that she "not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris praised Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dedication to justice

Having presided over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's confirmation hearings during his time in the senate, Democratic candidate for President of the United States Joe Biden quickly turned to Instagram to honor the legendary judge. "[She] stood for all of us. She fought for all of us," Biden wrote. "As a young attorney, she persisted through every challenge that an unequal system placed in her way to change the laws of our land and lead the legal charge to advance equal rights for women... [S]he was consistently and reliably the voice that pierced to the heart of every issue, protected the constitutional rights of every American, and never failed in the fierce and unflinching defense of liberty and freedom."

Biden's running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, and her husband Douglas Emhoff issued a joint statement via Instagram, in which they praised the trailblazer's lifelong fight for justice and gender equality. "Justice Ginsburg was and will always be a titan," they said. "She was a relentless defender of justice in our country and a legal mind for the ages... Justice Ginsburg was known to pose the question, 'What is the difference between a bookkeeper in the Garment District and a Supreme Court justice?' Her answer: 'One generation." She never forgot where she came from, or those who sacrificed to help her grow into the historic icon we all came to revere."

While Ginsburg's death will surely influence the state of American democracy for years to come, we wish her family nothing but peace and privacy as they grapple with the loss of their beloved matriarch.