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New Yorkers, Political Luminaries From Both Sides Of Aisle React To Death Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being felt by Americans from all political persuasions, especially here in the Big Apple.

Ginsburg, who was 87, died Friday following a long battle with cancer.

The liberal stalwart and women's rights icon grew up in Brooklyn in the 1930s and '40s. She graduated from Cornell University and then in 1956, enrolled at Harvard Law School, where she was one of just nine women in a class of about 500.

Ginsburg was also a 1959 Columbia Law School graduate who tied for first in her class. She left an indelible impression on some of the brightest students in the nation and has made an impact that has stood the test of time, generations and political climates, CBS2's Jessica Layton reported.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a discussion at Georgetown University Law Center on July 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

"Her picture is up in the book store and hanging proud in the law building. A huge person at the university. A huge source of pride as a student, especially," Columbia student Paul Smith said.

"She was a role model for a lot of people and I think her passing represents something that's even bigger than us," another student said.

College freshmen Ava Frisina said Avery Reed said they cried when they got the notifications on their phones that the iconic Ginsburg had passed away.

"It's actually tragic that she has to die in a world that looks like this today. She deserves so much better," Frisina said.

"I felt hopeless, completely hopeless," Reed added. "If anything else could go wrong in 2020, this is it."

The passing of the iconic justice broke the hearts of strangers as well as men and women who've served throughout decades of politics.

President Donald Trump got the news as he was boarding Air Force One.

"She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not. I'm actually sad to hear that. I am sad to hear that," Trump said.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who like Trump was campaigning in Minnesota on Friday, said Ginsburg stood for all of us.

"She practiced the highest American ideals as a justice -- equality and justice under the law," Biden said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement on Ginsburg's passing, saying in part: "She was a daughter of Brooklyn and the embodiment of all that it means to be New York tough -- yet her life was a testament that tough does not preclude acting with respect, grace, and dignity. I know I speak for the entire family of New York when I say we are absolutely devastated by this loss."

Former President George W. Bush took to Twitter, and said of Ginsburg, "... she inspired more than one generation of women and girls."

Former President Jimmy Carter said Ginsburg was a "powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality," adding, "she has been a beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career."

New York political figures also took to social media to express their admiration for Ginsburg, who was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993, and was only the second woman at that time to have been elevated to the high court, after Sandra Day O'Connor, who was named by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

"Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion for justice, a trailblazer for women," Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote. "She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to preserve her legacy."

Junior Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted Ginsburg "lived an extraordinary life. She fought to ensure equal protection in our laws, fearlessly dissented and defended, and was a powerful role model for us all. I'm devastated to hear of her passing. Thank you, Justice Ginsburg. Rest in power."

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Ginsburg, "dedicated her life and career not only to the premise of equal justice and equity under the law, but also to the most basic premise that, regardless of gender, or race, or religion, or orientation, or identity, or nationality and ethnic heritage, we all must commit to fight for the things that we care about."

The following are social media posts from political luminaries reflecting on Ginsburg's storied career:

Added Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal: "Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a giant. The world is a different place because of her. More than the laws she forged are the lives she touched. She was soft-spoken and slight in stature, but packed a mighty punch. She will always be a uniquely American icon – breaking barriers with courage and conviction, and letting nothing stop her from the classroom to the courtroom."

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler said Ginsburg will forever be remembered fondly.

"In a year of incalculable loss, may we pause for a moment to honor this remarkable woman who never backed down from a fight and was never afraid to stand up for what she believed. I send my most heartfelt condolences to her family, colleagues, and loved ones. May her memory be a blessing."

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