President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were met with loud chants of protest as they paid respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Crowds booed and chanted “vote him out” and “honor her wish” – an apparent reference to Ginsburg telling her granddaughter that her final wish was for the next president to fill her seat – during Trump’s appearance, which was carried live on television networks. The president and the first lady walked out of the front doors of the court onto the front steps and spent several moments standing in silence beside Ginsburg’s casket, which was wrapped in an American flag. As the chants of protest grew loud, the pair walked back into the court.
The president wore a blue face mask decorated with the presidential seal. Other top White House officials also observed the casket after Trump, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
Trump’s chilly receipt in Washington comes amid a brewing fight over his plans to nominate a replacement for Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, less than two months before the November election. Trump is expected to announce his nominee, who he said will be a woman, at a White House ceremony on Saturday evening, and has pushed for his choice to be confirmed before Election Day.
Republicans have signaled they plan to move swiftly to confirm Trump’s nominee. Democrats have forcefully objected, saying whoever is elected in the November 3 election should choose the person to fill the vacancy.
Trump reacted somberly to Ginsburg’s death last Friday, describing her as an “amazing woman who led an amazing life.” He ordered the flags at the White House to half staff to recognize her and said he would postpone his announcement on his nominee until after her funeral services.
Ginsburg’s casket will be displayed on the steps of the Supreme Court until the end of the day on Thursday and she will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Other political leaders have visited the Supreme Court to pay their respects, including Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence and Bill and Hillary Clinton.