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Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state today at U.S. Capitol

Capping days of commemorations of her extraordinary life, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes the first woman in American history to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Ginsburg, who died last week at age 87, also will be the first Jewish-American to lie in state and just the second Supreme Court justice to receive the tribute. The first, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, also had been U.S. president.

Ginsburg's casket will be brought to the Capitol on Friday morning for a private ceremony in Statuary Hall attended by her family and lawmakers, and with musical selections from one of her favourite opera singers, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, planned to attend.

Members of the House and Senate who are not invited to the ceremony because of space limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic will be able to pay their respects before a motorcade carrying Ginsburg's casket departs the Capitol early Friday afternoon.

The honour of lying in state has been accorded fewer than three dozen times, mostly to presidents, vice-presidents and members of Congress. Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon, was the last person to lie in state following his death in July. Henry Clay, the Kentucky lawmaker who served as Speaker of the House and also was a senator, was the first in 1852.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is shown July 2, 2019, speaking about her work and gender equality during a panel discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. She died last Friday. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/The Associated Press)

Rosa Parks — a private citizen, not a government official — is the only woman who has lain in honour at the Capitol.

Ginsburg has 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 on Thursday. Spectators booed and chanted "vote him out" as the president, who wore a mask, stood silently near Ginsburg's casket at the top of the court's front steps.

Trump plans to announce his nomination Saturday of a woman to take Ginsburg's place on the high court, where she served for 27 years and was the leader of the liberal justices.

Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, will be buried next week in Arlington National Cemetery beside her husband, Martin, who died in 2010.

WATCH l Trump given a noisy reception at Supreme Court:

U.S. President Donald Trump was hit with cries of 'Vote him out' as he visited the U.S. Supreme Court, where the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose.

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