Washington DC continues to mourn the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, here’s what’s happening on Capitol Hill this week.
On Friday, September 27, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman in the highest court, passed away at the age of 87. Her death has drawn thousands of people across the country to the streets in mourning, especially here in Washington DC where crowds gathered in front of the Supreme Court for impromptu vigils over the weekend. Now as the country continues to mourn the women’s rights champion and feminist icon, the city has organized numerous events for public mourning at Capitol Hill, the site where she served for 27 years and, before that, saw her successfully argue six cases for gender equality in the 70s.
Lying in state at the Supreme Court
The body of Justice Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court for two days until Thursday, September 23. The casket arrived at the site around 9 am Wednesday morning where former Ginsburg law clerks served as honorary pallbearers. The arrival was followed by a short private ceremony for her family, close friends and members inside the court. Ginsburg’s seat and the bench in front were draped with black wool crepe, while a black drape was also hung over the courtroom doors, the court said.
Following the ceremony, the casket will be placed on the Lincoln Catafalque, a wooden platform draped in black cloth, that was built to hold Lincoln’s casket after his assassination in 1865 and which was also used for the 2016 service for Justice Antonin Scalia. The structure will be set up just outside the court where the public is invited to pay their respects to the late justice from 11 am until 10 pm on Wednesday and from 9 am until 10 pm on Thursday.
A portrait of Ginsburg by Constance P. Beaty will also be on display in the Great Hall.
Lying in state at the U.S. Capitol
Following the Supreme Court viewing, Ginsburg’s casket is expected to lie in state in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall for a formal ceremony. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony will be open to invited guests only.
Justice Ginsburg is only the second Supreme Court justice to lie in state at the Capitol and the first woman. President William Howard Taft, who also served as both chief justice of the court, lay in state there in 1930, while civil rights leader, Rosa Parks. lay in honor in the rotunda of the Capitol in 2005.
A private funeral ceremony for RBG will be held at Arlington National Cemetery next week where she’ll be laid to rest next to her husband Martin.
The sad occasion is expected to draw people to the Supreme Court and the Capitol by the thousands. The city will be closing the following roads for the occasion until funeral events conclude on Friday:
- First Street, between Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SE.
- East Capitol Street NE, between First Street and Second Street.
[Featured image: Shutterstock]