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Ruth Bader Ginsburg To Lie In Repose At Supreme Court This Week For Public Viewing

Crowds gather Saturday at the Supreme Court to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Cliff Owen
Crowds gather Saturday at the Supreme Court to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday, the Supreme Court announced Monday.

Her casket will arrive in front of the court just before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the court said in a statement. A private ceremony will take place in the court's Great Hall at 9:30 a.m. attended by Ginsburg's family, close friends and members of the court.

Following that ceremony, Ginsburg will lie in repose under the Portico at the top of the front steps of the Supreme Court building to allow for public viewing outdoors.

"The public is invited to pay respects in front of the Building from approximately 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23, and from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 24," the court said in a statement.

Large crowds are expected to begin lining up well before the viewing, and the court will be kept open to accommodate those who want to say their final goodbyes to the justice.

Ginsburg's former law clerks will serve as honorary pallbearers and will line the front steps as the casket arrives. Supreme Court police officers will serve as pallbearers.

"The justices will remain inside the Great Hall where the casket will be placed on the Lincoln Catafalque, which has been loaned to the Court by the U.S. Congress for the ceremony," the statement said. "A 2016 portrait of Justice Ginsburg by Constance P. Beaty will be on display in the Great Hall."

Because of the Jewish High Holidays, Ginsburg will be buried next Tuesday, Sept. 29, after Yom Kippur, the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. She will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery next to her husband of 56 years, Marty Ginsburg, who died in 2010. Members of the court, family and close friends will attend.

Ginsburg's death less than 50 days before the presidential election has made the issue of her replacement on the court a controversial one, with Democrats saying the GOP-led Senate should wait until after the election to vote on a nominee. President Trump said Mondayhe'll likely name a replacement for Ginsburg Friday or Saturday, adding "We should wait until the services are over."

Separately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that Ginsburg will lie in state in National Statuary Hall in the Capitol on Friday.

A formal ceremony will be held Friday morning and will be open to invited guests only because of the coronavirus pandemic, a statement from Pelosi said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.