Ruth Bader Ginsburg Becomes First Woman To Lie In State At The U.S. Capitol

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a pioneer in her lifetime and she continued to make history when she became the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday morning.

Ginsburg, who passed away at 87 to complications with pancreatic cancer, was also the first person of the Jewish faith to lie in state.

NBC News reports: “Ginsburg is the first woman and first Jewish person to ever lie in state at the Capitol, according to historical records. The civil rights activist Rosa Parks was the first woman to lie in honor, which is the designation for non-office-holding citizens and former officeholders.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi briefly spoke during the ceremony, remembering Ginsburg as a “champion of gender equality,” Reuters reports.

“We have a lot of cause for … observance of a historic time, for a historic woman who did more for the equality of women than anybody in our history,” Pelosi said.

“Her passing is like a death in so many families in our country because so many people pinned their hopes, heeded her guidance, admired her stamina, her love of the arts, bringing civility to her relationships in the court and in the country,” she added.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., welcomed lawmakers to the arrival ceremony, which included a reflection by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, of the conservative D.C., synagogue Adas Israel, who recited prayers during the ceremony inside the Supreme Court on Wednesday. There were also two musical selections by American operatic soprano Denyce Graves, who was accompanied by pianist Laura Ward.

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“Today she makes history again as the first woman, and the first Jewish woman, to lie in state,” Rabbi Holtzblatt said. “Today we stand in sorrow, and tomorrow we the people must carry on Justice Ginsburg’s legacy. Even as our hearts are breaking, we must rise with her strength and move forward.”

After listening to comments from Pelosi and Holtzblatt, the lawmakers and others who were in attendance honored Ginsburg’s legacy as they took turns approaching the casket.



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