Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Be The First Woman to Lie in State at U.S. Capitol

Published on September 24, 2020

A week after her passing last Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. She will be the first woman in the country’s history to ever receive the honor.

Justice Ginsburg passed away at 87 from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Bill Clinton appointed Justice Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993. By then, she had already built up a fearsome reputation in the courtroom for her impactful arguments. Throughout her career she fought tirelessly for women’s rights and female equality. Her 27 years on the highest court in the country led her to become a widely respected icon. Her passing leaves a vacancy on the Supreme Court, and a contentious battle to fill the seat before the 2020 election.

An Incredibly Rare Distinction

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the incredibly rare honor in a speech on Monday. Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg, only thirty four people have lain in state at the Capitol, including Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. The only other member of the Supreme Court to ever lie in state at the Capitol was William Howard Taft in 1930. Rosa Parks was lain in honor in the Capitol upon her passing in 2005. However, Ginsburg will be the first to officially lie in state. The last person to receive this distinction was Representative John Lewis earlier this year.

Wednesday and Thursday, before her coffin takes its place in the Capitol, Justice Ginsburg is lying in repose at the Supreme Court. This is also quite unusual. Usually Supreme Court Justices lie in repose for a single day. Justice Ginsburg will lie in repose an extra day to accommodate the incredible number of people turning out to mourn the passing of a feminist pioneer and hero.

The Notorious R.B.G.

These unprecedented steps to mourn her loss only serve to show what an impact Ruth Bader Ginsburg made in her time on the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg, lovingly nicknamed Notorious R.B.G. by her fans, presided over a great many landmark cases and decisions that gave women some of the most significant rights we have today. She fought tirelessly for women’s bodily autonomy and financial freedoms. She upheld the principals of equality at every turn. It is fitting that she should be the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. The prestigious send off is well suited for a woman who was only the 2nd woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, who spent her career fighting for women’s rights and equality.

Olivia Smith is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

Read more

More GD News