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Pelosi: McConnell Rejected Proposal for Ginsburg To Lie in State in Capitol Rotunda

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not approve of a proposal by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) regarding late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s memorial.

An excerpt from USA Today’s Susan Page’s soon-to-be-released biography of Pelosi contains a “juicy nugget” about Ginsburg’s death, according to Punchbowl News, which exclusively received the excerpt.

Ginsburg died in September of 2020 at the age of 87 from complications of metastatic pancreas cancer.

When Ginsburg died, Pelosi proposed that the Supreme Court justice lies in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, which would make her the first woman to do so in U.S. history.

However, McConnell “rejected the idea on the grounds that there was no precedent for such treatment of a justice,” according to Page. The Kentucky senator noted, “When William Howard Taft had lain in state in 1930, he had been not only the chief justice but also president,” as Page writes. McConnell was the senator majority leader at the time.

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Addtionally, Page writes:

“He wasn’t swayed by the argument that Ginsburg had achieved an iconic status in American culture, especially for women and girls. McConnell’s refusal meant that Ginsburg’s flag-draped coffin was placed not in the Rotunda, which connects the House and Senate, but in Statuary Hall, on the House side. 

McConnell and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t accept invitations to attend the service for her.”

Ginsburg did lie in state in the U.S. Capitol in the National Statuary Hall.

Pelosi also told Page, “Mitch McConnell is not a force for good in our country. He is an enabler of some of the worst stuff, and an instigator of some of it on his own.” Page interviewed Pelosi 10 times for the upcoming book.

Shortly after Ginsburg’s death, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court to fill her seat — just 30 days after former President Donald Trump nominated her. Barrett’s confirmation made the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority.

Pelosi’s tension with members of the “Squad” was also resurfaced with an excerpt of the book published on Thursday in Politico.

The new biography, “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” will be published on April 20.

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