Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, First Women To Lie In State At US Capitol
BY BRIAN NAYLOR
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is lying in state Friday at the U.S. Capitol, the first woman to be given that honor in the nation’s history.
Ginsburg’s casket was carried into Statuary Hall, just outside the House of Representatives’ chamber, by an armed forces honor guard. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presided over the brief ceremony.
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, who also eulogized Ginsburg as she lay in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court, said of Ginsburg Friday, “As a lawyer she won equality for women and men, not in one swift victory, but brick by brick, case by case. Through meticulous, careful lawyering, she changed the course of American law.”
Mezzo-soprano opera singer Denyce Graves performed a tribute to the late justice — who was an opera aficionado — and members of Congress filed past Ginsburg’s casket.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, were also in attendance, along with vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris.
As she left, Harris was asked whether Ginsburg cleared a path for her. “Absolutely,” she responded.
“Because she first of all made America see what leadership looks like, and in the law, in terms of public service, and she broke so many barriers. And I know that she did it intentionally, knowing that people like me could follow,” she said.
Notably absent from the ceremony were Congress’ two top Republicans, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
Thousands of mourners paid their respects to Ginsburg during the two days her casket rested at the top of the Supreme Court steps, including former President Bill Clinton, who nominated her to the high court in 1993, and President Trump.
Trump’s visit prompted shouting from the crowd of “honor her wish,” referring to the justice’s hope that she would not be replaced on the court “until a new president is installed.” Trump has said he will announce his choice to succeed Ginsburg on Saturday.
Ginsburg will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, after Yom Kippur, next to her husband, Marty.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit npr.org