Large crowds pay tribute to RBG outside Supreme Court

A large crowd of people gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court on Friday night after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Well-wishers left flowers and signs and broke into applause and songs, and the American flag outside the Supreme Court was lowered to half-mast.

“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 who attended 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
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.  TASOS KATOPODIS / Getty Images

A vigil is being planned for Saturday, which is expected to be followed this week by mass events across the country, according to a source familiar with the plans of the liberal nonprofit Indivisible. 

Ginsburg died Friday night at the age of 87. She was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1997, who 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.” 

Candles and flowers left on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court at a vigil for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18, 2020, after her death at age 87, CBS News / Bart Noonan

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.”  

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