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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is the First Woman to Lie in State at the U.S. Capitol

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On Sept. 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg — commonly referred to as RBG — died at age 87 as a result of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was an iconic women's rights warrior who fought for equality as a lawyer and eventually, as a U.S. Supreme Court justice when former President Bill Clinton appointed her in 1993. Ginsburg was known for her ornate collars and her powerful dissents while serving for 27 years on the highest court in the nation. Naturally, Americans are curious about RBG's funeral plans.

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Let's take a closer look at what we can expect — including where the feminist icon's casket will be located ahead of her funeral and where the interment will take place in the coming days — as family, friends, government officials, and an entire nation continues to mourn the loss of "Notorious R.B.G."

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RBG is the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Even in death, RBG is a trailblazer. Although civil rights icon Rosa Parks lain in honor in 2005, Justice Ginsburg has gone down in history as the first woman to lie in state. ("Lying in honor" is a distinction given to private citizens while "lying in state" is an honor reserved for government officials and military officers.) 

RBG's casket will be placed in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol Building on Friday, Sept. 25, and the event will include a formal ceremony for invited guests only because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg's body lies in repose at the Supreme Court until then.

Justice Ginsburg's body will lie in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court, where members of the public have the opportunity to pay their respects, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and Thursday, Sept. 24.

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Her casket arrived in front of the U.S. Supreme Court at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday; a private ceremony including RBG's family, close friends, and the SCOTUS justices was held in the Great Hall. After that, Justice Ginsburg's casket was moved under the portico at the top of the building's front steps, where her former law clerks lined the steps and served as honorary pallbearers as the casket arrived.

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A private interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.

Justice Ginsburg's family will hold a private interment at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia — marking the 14th justice buried there. Others have included Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., and John Paul Stevens.

RBG will be buried next to her husband of 56 years, Martin Ginsburg, who died in 2010 at age 78 after battling cancer.

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Who will replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Before her death, Justice Ginsburg told her granddaughter, Clara Spera, "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

However, a debate over the timing of filling her vacant seat has been raging between Democrats and Republicans. As Democrats call for the winner of the 2020 presidential election to be the one who appoints Ginsburg's replacement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is backing President Donald Trump's plan to move forward quickly with a nomination ahead of Election Day.

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