Ginsburg Becomes First Woman To Lie In State At The Capitol

The remains of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lie in state at the US Capitol in Statuary Hall in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2020. - Ginsburg is the first woman and only the second justice from the... The remains of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lie in state at the US Capitol in Statuary Hall in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2020. - Ginsburg is the first woman and only the second justice from the Supreme Court to be given the honor. (Photo by Greg Nash / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

WASHINGTON (AP) — Capping days of commemorations of her extraordinary life, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes the first woman in American history to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.

Ginsburg, who died last week at age 87, also will be the first Jewish-American to lie in state and just the second Supreme Court justice. The first, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, also had been president.

Ginsburg’s casket will be brought to the Capitol Friday morning for a private ceremony in Statuary Hall attended by her family and lawmakers, and with musical selections from one of Ginsburg’s favorite opera singers, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, planned to attend.

Members of the House and Senate who are not invited to the ceremony because of space limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic will be able to pay their respects before a motorcade carrying Ginsburg’s casket departs the Capitol early afternoon.

The honor of lying in state has been accorded fewer than three dozen times, mostly to presidents, vice presidents and members of Congress. Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon, was the last person to lie in state following his death in July. Henry Clay, the Kentucky lawmaker who served as Speaker of the House and also was a senator, was the first in 1852. Rosa Parks — a private citizen, not a government official — is the only woman who has lain in honor at the Capitol.

Ginsburg has lain in repose for two days at the Supreme Court, where thousands of people paid their respects, including President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on Thursday. Spectators booed and chanted “vote him out” as the president, who wore a mask, stood silently near Ginsburg’s casket at the top of the court’s front steps.

Trump plans to announce his nomination Saturday of a woman to take Ginsburg’s place on the high court, where she served for 27 years and was the leader of the liberal justices.

Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, will be buried next week in Arlington National Cemetery beside her husband, Martin, who died in 2010.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Seriously appropriate. It shouldn’t have taken this long, with all the great women that have served this nation. But that Ruth is first is entirely appropriate.

  2. This is a fitting tribute to a very consequential woman.

  3. Avatar for pine pine says:

    Just watching the pomp and circumstance for the late justice Ginsburg .Brings to mind a conversation I had with my late and great mother in law and may she continue to rest in peace.We were watching a funeral many years ago and she said “show it to me while I am here” .Well Former Justice Ginsburg won’t have to worry about that,she saw what people thought about her and felt their respect and admiration for her while she was here.

  4. Opera Diva Denyce Graves just sang a spiritual “Deep River” to open the service. It was beautiful, moving and emotional. These two amazing women had a personal history. From the Philly Inquirer:

    “Isn’t it something? Here we have this sincere person who was very soft-spoken and not very revealing, this powerhouse of a woman who comes in this teeny-tiny package. And yet she loved theatrics and all that surrounded the theater,” said mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, who often performed for Ginsburg and was close friends with her.

    “Theater was an escape," said Graves, who performed on the program when Ginsburg was awarded the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal earlier this month. "With all of the things she had to be concerned with, she could forget for a while and could enter this world that was beautiful.”

    Opera was a persistent soundtrack in her life. Significantly, the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal ceremony featured performances by Brownlee, bass Soloman Howard, and soprano Renée Fleming along with Graves .

    A decade ago, music also had a presence at a memorial service for Ginsburg’s husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, when Graves and Philadelphia pianist Laura Ward performed Grace , a song by Michael Tilson Thomas.

    “I’ll never forget her face when Denyce was four feet in front of her singing this song,” said Ward. “She had this sweetest expression of gratitude.”

    ETA: Ms Graves ended the ceremony with a lovely performance of “America Anthem,” a song that was written for Ken Burns Civil War. It closes with these exceptionally fitting words:

    Let them say of me
    I was one who believed
    In sharing the blessings
    I received
    Let me know in my heart
    When my days are through
    I gave my best to you

  5. I was sure the Shithead would try to deny her the honor. I guess someone finally persuaded him that he doesn’t control the Capitol.

Continue the discussion at

5 more replies


Avatar for discobot Avatar for sysprog Avatar for becca656 Avatar for left_in_washington_state Avatar for leftcoaster Avatar for pine Avatar for lisaaug Avatar for the_loan_arranger

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: