Ruth Bader Ginsburg would rest for two days in court where she worked for 27 years, and prior to that, debated six cases of gender equality in the 1970s.
Thousands of people are expected to pay their respects in the Supreme Court to late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a women’s rights advocate and leader of the court’s liberal bloc and feminist icon who passed away last week.
Even with the court closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic and Washington already consuming to talk about replacing Ginsberg, former justice colleagues, his family, close friends and the public will have the opportunity on Wednesday and Thursday to pass by the second coffin. A woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
A casket covered in Ginsburg’s flag arrived at the court at 9:30 a.m. and was transported to the great courtroom, following the previous law clerks who had lined up the stairs.
Inside, the remaining eight justices were in court together for the first time since the building closed in March and have resorted to telephone meetings.
Ginsburg would lie on a two-day rest in court where she worked for 27 years, and prior to that, had discussed six issues of gender equality in the 1970s.
Nearly 200 members of the audience gathered to pay their respects by early morning, mingling with the dog walkers and joggers who blocked the path of the crowd. At the front of the crowd were attorneys Kara Stewart and Jenny Penny Scoban, who had driven overnight from the Cincinnati area to be there.
“It felt like I couldn’t be here,” said Stewart, a public interest attorney from Martin, Kentucky.
Stewart said she specifically identified Ginsburg’s early career as a civil rights advocate.
“What moves me the most is her career before the court,” she said. “Using the courts to achieve justice and success – it’s not easy.”
Cincinnati’s Benny Scoban said Ginsberg’s career has blew trails for women who came after.
“We are here to get to know our shoulders,” she said.
Chairs and screens were placed outside the building.
After a special ceremony on Wednesday in the great courtroom, her coffin will be moved outside the building to the front rungs of the court so that mourners can express their respect in line with public health guidelines for the pandemic.
Since her death Friday evening, people have left flowers, notes, banners and all kinds of Ginsburg paraphernalia out of court in honor of the woman who in her later years became known as the “Notorious RBG”. Court workers removed the items and cleaned the court yard and sidewalk before Wednesday’s party.
The court said that following past practices in the court burdened with tradition, Ginsburg’s coffin is expected to arrive before 9:30 AM ET on Wednesday. The Supreme Court Police would do so along the court’s steps, which would be lined up by former Ginsburg law clerks to be the titular coffin holders.
Chief Justice John Roberts and the other justices will be in the Great Hall upon the arrival and placement of the coffin at Lincoln Katafalki, the platform on which President Abraham Lincoln’s coffin rests in the Capitol in 1865. Portrait of Ginsburg by Constance in 1865. P. Petty will be exhibited nearby.
The White House said President Donald Trump would visit the court Thursday to offer his condolences. He also expressed his respect when Judge John Paul Stevens died last year and President Barack Obama visited the court after Judge Antonin Scalia died in 2016.
The courtroom entrance, next to the Ginsburg chair and its seat on the bench next to Roberts, is covered in black, an old court habit. These visible signs of mourning, which have reinforced the sense of loss in past years, will largely disappear this year. The court begins its new term on October 5, but the judges will not be in the courtroom and instead will listen to arguments over the phone.
After a private ceremony inside the court, the Ginsburg coffin will be on display to the public from 11 am to 10 pm Wednesday and 9 am to 10 pm on Thursday.
On Friday, Ginsburg will reside in the state at the Capitol, the first woman to do so and second Supreme Court judge after William Howard Taft. Taft was boss, too. Rosa Parks, a private citizen unlike a government official, is the only woman to have had the honor on the Capitol.
Ginsburg will be buried alongside her husband Martin in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery next week. Martin Ginsburg passed away in 2010. She is survived by a son, daughter, four grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and a great-great-son.
Ginsburg’s death from cancer at the age of 87 added another layer of unrest to an already messy election year. Trump and Senate Republicans are pushing ahead with their plans to have new justice on the bench, possibly before the November 3 elections.
Only Chief Justice Roger Tani, who died in October 1864, died near the presidential election. Lincoln waited until December to nominate his replacement, Salmon Chase, which was confirmed the same day.
When Scalia, Ginsburg’s best friend on court, died unexpectedly in 2016, Republicans refused to act on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination for Judge Merrick Garland.