House

Ginsburg to lie in state in Capitol on Friday

The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state in the Capitol's Statuary Hall on Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Monday.

Ginsburg will also lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday to give members of the public further opportunities to pay their respects.

Ginsburg will be the first woman and second Supreme Court justice to lie in state in the Capitol. The only other Supreme Court justice to be granted the honor was William Howard Taft in March 1930. Taft had served as the court's chief justice and as president.

 

The civil rights icon Rosa Parks laid in honor in the Capitol rotunda in 2005, but as a government official, Ginsburg will be the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol. 

The announcement from Pelosi noted that a formal ceremony will be held at the Capitol on Friday morning, but will be invitation-only due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The last person to lie in state in the Capitol was the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who died in July. Lewis laid in state in the Capitol rotunda, but officials also displayed his casket at the top of the Capitol's east front steps to allow for an outdoor public viewing that accommodated social distancing guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic.

Ginsburg's death has set off a brawl in the Senate over filling her vacancy just over a month before the November elections.

President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are pushing to fill the vacancy as soon as possible, potentially before the elections. But Democrats have cried foul over the GOP's rush to fill the vacancy left by Ginsburg, a liberal icon, when McConnell refused to consider then-President Obama's nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. 

Trump has pledged to nominate a woman to fill the vacancy on the court.

Only two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), have said they oppose filling the vacancy left by Ginsburg before the elections.

Ginsburg, 87, died on Friday after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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