Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first woman in American history to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, as a contentious confirmation battle brewed in the Senate over her replacement.
Ginsburg, who’s also the first Jewish person to ever be given the honor of lying in state, arrived at the Capitol by hearse shortly before 10 a.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the top Democrats in Congress, awaited her flag-draped casket on the Capitol steps.
Ginsburg’s casket was expected to be brought to the Capitol’s Statuary Hall for a private ceremony attended by her family and lawmakers. Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, was also expected to attend with his wife, Jill.
President Donald Trump, who paid his respects to Ginsburg at the Supreme Court on Thursday, was not expected to attend.
Due to coronavirus concerns, members of Congress who were not invited to the private ceremony will have to wait to pay their respects to Ginsburg until her casket departs in the early afternoon.
In addition to being the first woman and Jew to lie in state, Ginsburg is just the second Supreme Court justice to ever be given the honor. The first, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, also had been president.
Ginsburg’s final visit to the Capitol comes as the Senate is gearing up for what promises to be one of the most combative confirmation processes over a Supreme Court nominee in decades.
Trump plans to unveil his pick to replace Ginsburg on Saturday, just 38 days before the November election.
Senate Republicans are then expected to rush Trump’s nominee through the confirmation process in hopes of having her seated on the bench by Election Day.
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