Breaking Another Barrier, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is 1st U.S. Woman to Lie in State

  • VOA News

    September 24, 2020 08:10

    Colleagues, friends and admirers began paying their final respects Wednesday to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  

    Ginsburg's casket was brought to the Supreme Court building early Wednesday for a private ceremony in the Great Hall, attended by her family and her fellow justices. The casket was then moved to the building's front steps and will lie in repose for public viewing until Thursday, resting on the same wooden platform built for the casket of President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination in 1865.

    The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump will pay his respects to Ginsburg Thursday.  

    Chief Justice John Roberts offered the court's "heartfelt condolences" on the loss of Ginsburg, which he said "is widely shared but we know that it falls most heavily on the family. Justice Ginsburg's life was one of the many versions of the American dream."

    The flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, carried by Supreme Court police officers, arrives in the Great Hall at the Supreme Court in Washington on Sept. 23, 2020. /AP

    A further tribute will occur Friday when Ginsburg will be taken across the street to the U.S. Capitol, where she will lie in state in the building's Statuary Hall, making her the first woman to receive such an honor. The public will be able to view the casket after a formal ceremony for invited guests.

    Civil rights icon Rosa Parks lay in honor in the Capitol's historic Rotunda after her death in 2005, a designation due to the fact that she was not a government official.  

    A statement by the U.S. Supreme Court says Ginsburg will be buried next week in a private ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony, the final resting place of such figures as President John F. Kennedy, his brothers Robert and Edward, both prominent U.S. senators, and heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis.  

    Ginsburg died last Friday at the age of 87 of metastatic pancreatic cancer, ending a 27-year tenure on the nation's highest court. Her status as leader of the court's liberal minority, along with her work seeking legal equality for women and girls in all spheres of American life before becoming a jurist, made her a cultural icon, earning her the nickname "The Notorious R.B.G."

    Her death has sparked a political battle over her replacement, with President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans vowing to name and confirm a new justice before the Nov. 3 presidential election, which would give the court a solid 6-3 conservative majority. President Trump announced Tuesday that he will name his nominee for the lifetime appointment on Saturday.

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