Following a private ceremony with family, close friends, and the justices inside the Great Hall of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s casket was placed at the top of the court’s front steps so that the public can pay their respects.
“Her voice in court and in our conference room was soft, but when she spoke people listened,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.
Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket arrived at the court at 9:30 a.m. and was carried into the court’s Great Hall, past her former law clerks who lined the steps.
Inside, the court’s remaining eight justices, all of them wearing masks, were together for the first time since the building was closed in March and they resorted to meetings by telephone. Because of the pandemic, however, chairs for the justices were spaced apart.
Ginsburg will lie in repose for two days at the court where she served for 27 years. Ginsburg’s casket will be on public view from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday.
Inside, the entrance to the courtroom, along with Ginsburg’s chair and place on the bench next to Roberts, have been draped in black, a longstanding court custom. The court begins its new term Oct. 5, but the justices will not be in the courtroom and instead will hear arguments by phone.
On Friday, Ginsburg will lie in state at the Capitol, the first woman to do so and only the second Supreme Court justice after William Howard Taft. Taft had also been president. Rosa Parks, a private citizen as opposed to a government official, is the only woman who has lain in honor at the Capitol.
Ginsburg will be buried beside her husband, Martin, in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery next week. Martin Ginsburg died in 2010. She is survived by a son and a daughter, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.