Mourners quietly filed past the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's flag-draped coffin outside the white marble court building on Wednesday as the United States began three days of tributes to the liberal icon.
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Hundreds of people lined up outside the court for a chance to pay their respects to the pioneering women's rights advocate, who died on Friday at age 87. Inside the court, Ginsburg's fellow justices celebrated her life in a private ceremony.
"Her voice in court and in our conference room was soft. But when she spoke, people listened," Chief Justice John Roberts said.
Ginsburg's casket was then moved under the neoclassical court building's massive Corinthian columns for a public viewing due to last two days.
"It's almost like I felt the hand of God on my shoulder saying you have got to come and pay your respects to this person who was a fierce champion of women's voices and women's rights," said Cecelia Ryan, 64, who drove 12 hours from suburban Chicago.
President Donald Trump is moving quickly to nominate Ginsburg's replacement, and his fellow Republicans in the Senate say they could hold a vote before the Nov. 3 election. That would seal a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.
"I'm gay and I feel she has done more for equal rights than anyone else," said Christopher Balma, 47, who waited in line to file past the casket, which was surrounded by flowers.
"I'm terrified" now that Ginsburg is no longer on the court, Balma said.
Ginsburg ruled in favor of LGBT rights in several important cases including the landmark 2015 decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide.
Her popularity prompted officials to set aside two days for public viewing, rather than the one day allowed for other justices, said Barbara Perry, the director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.
"She became a pop icon in the last decade," Perry said.
Ginsburg will on Friday become the first woman to lie in state in the US Capitol when her casket is placed in National Statuary Hall.
The Capitol held a similar ceremony for civil-rights pioneer Rosa Parks in 2005, but she lay "in honor" as she did not hold government or military office.
Both historic events for Ginsburg, however, come with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Capitol ceremony will be limited to invited guests only, and at the courthouse social Read More – Source