US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday became the first woman in history to lie in state at the US Capitol, capping off days of commemorations of her life.
Ginsburg’s casket in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall drew members of Congress, military officials, friends and family.
Mourners paid their last respects as it was carried down the Capitol steps after a memorial service.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was with profound sorrow that she welcomed the liberal icon as she opened the private service.
“It is with profound sorrow and deep sympathy to the Ginsburg family that I have the high honour to welcome Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state in the Capitol of the United States,”
Pelosi said. “She does so on a catafalque built for Abraham Lincoln. May she rest in peace.”
Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, were in attendance, along with vice presidential nominee, Senator Kamala Harris.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is leading the push for Presidents Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg, was noticeably missing.
Harris said Ginsburg cleared a path for women like her in civic life and called her “one of the greatest Americans.”
“She, first of all, made America see what leadership looks like — in the law, in terms of public service — and she broke so many barriers,” Harris told reporters at the Capitol. “And I know that she did it intentionally knowing that people like me could follow.”
The ceremony focused on Ginsburg’s life and work, with musical selections from one of her favorite opera singers, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.
She had lain in repose for two days at the Supreme Court, where thousands of people paid their respects, including President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
The honour of lying in state has been granted only a few times, and mostly to presidents, vice presidents, and members of Congress.
She will be buried next week in Arlington National Cemetery beside her husband, Martin, who died in 2010.
President Donald Trump is prepared to announce a conservative nominee to replace the justice on Saturday, weeks before the election. A Senate confirmation vote is expected in late October.