WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the thousands paying respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Ginsburg was remembered at the court by grieving family, colleagues and friends as a prophet for justice who persevered against long odds to become an American icon.
The court’s eight justices, masked along with everyone else because of the coronavirus pandemic, gathered for the first time in more than six months for the ceremony to mark Ginsburg’s death from cancer last week at age 87 after 27 years on the court.
On Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the court in 1993, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Ginsburg had hoped would name her successor paid their respects. Vice President Mike Pence also attended.
Throughout the day, thousands of people paid their respects to the women’s rights champion and leader of the court’s liberal bloc. As darkness fell, the line stretched nearly half a mile from the court as people filed past. The casket will be on display until 10 p.m. (ET) 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. These visual signs of mourning, which in years past have reinforced the sense of loss, will largely go unseen this year. 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 not 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 her son and daughter, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.