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Country pays final respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 3:11 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Her seat on the court sits empty as the country says its first formal goodbye to Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Small in stature, the 87-year-old grew into an American legal and cultural giant over a storied career.

Ginsburg’s casket arrived at the Supreme Court Wednesday morning. She will lie in repose through Thursday and in state Friday so the public can pay its respects.

Chief Justice John Roberts delivered a eulogy at a small memorial ceremony for those close to the family Wednesday morning. “Of course she will live on in what she did to improve the law and the lives of all of us," he said, "and yet, still, Ruth is gone, and we grieve.”

Ginsburg broke through gender barriers in college, fought tirelessly for equality as a lawyer, and the nearly 500 judicial opinions she penned as a justice will continue to guide the country’s future.

“I so admired Justice Ginsburg,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the country’s longest serving senator.

Leahy said Ginsburg’s brilliant mind made her an exceptional jurist, her wit, an extraordinary friend. A grin and a glance would signal a coming quip during shows at the Kennedy Center. “I would be doubled over trying to stop from laughing, and disturbing the rest of it,” he said with a chuckle, “and she’s kind of looking like, ‘oh did I say that’.”

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) often found himself up against Ginsburg’s legal opinion while working as lawyer on issues of religious freedom. But even if you disagreed, he said she earned everyone’s respect.

“She was formidable,” he said, “if you had her on the opposing side of an argument, it was not a good day for you.”

Ginsburg, the second woman to ever serve on the nation’s highest court, will be the first to ever lie in state when she does so Friday. receive that highest honor.

Meanwhile, the political question of how to pick her successor continues to swirl around the Capitol.

Ginsburg’s family said her dying wish was the her seat remain unfilled until a new presidential and senate term begins in January. But, President Trump plans to announce a nominee this weekend and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says Republicans have the votes to confirm a conservative successor to Ginsburg.

Copyright 2020 Gray DC. All rights reserved.

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