Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the first woman and first Jewish person to lie in state at Capitol Building

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose for three days of public viewings around Washington, D.C., this week, making her the first woman

[Sept. 21, 2020: Sean Neumann]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose for three days of public viewings around Washington, D.C., this week, making her the first woman and the first Jewish person to lie in state at the Capitol building.

The late, liberal icon and revered Supreme Court Justice died last Friday from complications of metastatic cancer at the age of 87.

She was surrounded by family when she passed away at her Washington home, according to a Supreme Court statement announcing her death.

The Supreme Court said Monday that Ginsburg will lie in repose on the top steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Wednesday and Thursday, following a private ceremony attended by family, close friends and other members of the Supreme Court in the building's Great Hall.

"The public is invited to pay respects in front of the Building from approximately 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23, and from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 24," the Court said.

Ginsburg's former law clerks will serve as the honorary pallbearers, according to the Supreme Court's announcement. They will line the front steps of the building, as her casket arrives.

The justice will be laid on the Lincoln Catafalque — which was once used for President Abraham Lincoln's coffin — while a 2016 portrait of Ginsburg by Constance P. Beaty will be displayed inside the Great Hall.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also announced that Ginsburg would lie in repose inside the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol building on Friday.

“Justice Ginsburg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness, and her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who sacrifice and strive to build a better future for our children," Pelosi, 80, said. "Her opinions have unequivocally cemented the precedent that all men and women are created equal.”

The Court says Ginsburg will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery the following week.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic threw some hiccups into the plans to honor the late Justice.

Ginsburg would've lied in repose inside the Supreme Court's Great Hall, but social distancing restrictions have closed off the inside of the building to the public.

Friday's viewing at the U.S. Capitol will also only be available to invited guests because of the pandemic restrictions, Pelosi announced Monday.

Hundreds already gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court this weekend, after news broke of Ginsburg's death Friday night.

Mourners filled the Supreme Court's front steps with bouquets and handwritten signs, thanking Ginsburg for “taking care of our daughters” and proclaiming that “not all heroes wear capes.”

“She was holding on for us, she never could rest,” Dean Howarth, a 55-year-old teacher from Arlington, Virginia, told PEOPLE, before bursting into tears at the memorial.

“It felt like I had to be here, to mourn and celebrate her with people who loved and admired her too," Laila Chen, a 35-year-old doctor from Manhattan, told PEOPLE. Chen brought along her young daughter Lucy to the site to pay their respects to the late justice "at the place where she did so much good and changed the world for women and people of color and gay and lesbian citizens."

“I needed to stand in front of this building and say thank you," Chen said.

This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of People.

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Joseph Shavit
Joseph ShavitSpace, Technology and Medical News Writer
Joseph Shavit is the head science news writer with a passion for communicating complex scientific discoveries to a broad audience. With a strong background in both science, business, product management, media leadership and entrepreneurship, Joseph possesses the unique ability to bridge the gap between business and technology, making intricate scientific concepts accessible and engaging to readers of all backgrounds.