Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state at Supreme Court, US Capitol

Signs and flowers are left at a makeshift memorial in front of the US Supreme Court for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Washington DC, on Sept 21, 2020.
Signs and flowers are left at a makeshift memorial in front of the US Supreme Court for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Washington DC, on Sept 21, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP, REUTERS) - Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Wednesday (Sept 22) and Thursday, before lying in state Friday at the US Capitol, both institutions announced.

The late justice, whose death at age 87 has given US President Donald Trump a rare chance to cement a conservative majority on the court, will be buried next week in a private ceremony in Arlington, near the US capital.

There has been an outpouring of public mourning for the iconic liberal justice, who became a pop culture icon in recent years, even as Trump and his fellow Republicans who control the Senate seek to replace her with a conservative justice before the Nov 3 presidential election.

Crowds have gathered outside the court building, leaving flowers and other items in tribute, ever since her death on Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer.

A private ceremony will take place at the court on Wednesday morning, attended by Ginsburg's family, friends and other Supreme Court justices, a court statement said on Monday.

Some of Ginsburg's former law clerks will serve as pallbearers and will be lined up on the court's steps when the casket arrives.

Ginsburg's casket will be placed outside, under the court's portico, in a break from tradition prompted by coronavirus-related health concerns. Usually the casket of a dead justice is placed in the court's Great Hall, where the public can view it.

On Friday, the casket will be placed in the National Statuary Hall in the Capitol, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a separate statement. A private ceremony will be held, Pelosi added.

Meanwhile, Trump said on Monday he will announce his pick to replace Ginsburg on the high court by the end of the week. If the Senate confirms his nominee, it would leave the court with a solid 6-3 conservative majority ahead of his Nov 3 re-election bid.