Mourners pay tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside Supreme Court


Mourners placed messages and flowers in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Saturday in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87. The Women’s March posted on Facebook that there will be a candlelit vigil Saturday night in front of the Supreme Court and said there will be other observances in front of courthouses throughout the country. 

On Friday night, hundreds gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court immediately following the news of Ginsburg’s passing. Well-wishers left flowers and signs and broke into applause and song. The American flag outside the Supreme Court was lowered to half-staff.

“I think certain things are beyond ideology — beyond politics,” recent Georgetown Law graduate Kenneth Crawford told CBS News’ Natalie Brand. “She was a legend beyond her time on the court, especially in the later years. She showed such personal courage and grit and resolve, sacrificing her health and twilight years for her county.”

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icon for women,” said mourner Carol Wayman. “My success, my family, my wife — I wouldn’t have that without Ruth — without what Justice Ginsburg stood for and what she contributed.

The flag flies at half staff as people gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the steps in front of the Supreme Court on September 18, 2020. Ginsburg died at age 87 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.


“I think it’s a testament to who she was as a woman,” a woman who attended with her young child told CBS affiliate WUSA-9.

Another young woman said it was “inspiring” to see so many people there. 

“I love that so many people, distant and wearing masks, to have the idea to — this is really painful and we should come out and pay our respects,” she said.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies At 87
A member of the Georgetown University Womens Rowing Team places flowers at a makeshift memorial in front of the Supreme Court on September 19, 2020.

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Ginsburg, who died Friday night at her home, was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1997. Clinton described her as a “magnificent judge and a wonderful person — a brilliant lawyer with a caring heart, common sense, fierce devotion to fairness and equality, and boundless courage in the face of her own adversity.”

A champion of liberal values and women’s rights, she was also known for her personality, including once challenging Stephen Colbert to a workout. Her friendship with the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia was famous, and Chief Justice John Roberts described her on Friday as a “cherished colleague.” 

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies At 87
Mourners place flowers, messages, and mementos at a makeshift memorial in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on September 19, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

She became a pop culture star in recent years known as the “Notorious RBG.” A best-selling biography had the same name.

One of the book’s authors, Irin Carmon, told Rolling Stone in 2017, “When people ask us, ‘Why are young women inspired by RBG?’ to us it’s such an obvious question that it’s hard to answer. We live in a society that most of the time really stigmatizes ideals of gender equality and feminism, and there’s this woman who has for decades been using her power in the highest court of the land for good. That’s a really big deal.”  

Natalie Brand contributed to this report.

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