By ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Three days of public mourning for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of equality and women’s rights, began Wednesday when her casket arrived at the Supreme Court for a dramatic procession up the court steps lined by more than a hundred of her former law clerks.

Her casket was placed on the Lincoln Catafalque, once used for President Abraham Lincoln, before a ceremony inside the court’s Great Hall attended by family, friends and her fellow justices, wearing masks, at which Chief Justice John Roberts spoke, calling her a “fighter” for equal justice and saying, “her voice was soft, but when she spoke, people listened.”

Roberts, who sat next to Ginsburg on the Supreme Court bench, said her life was a reflection of the American Dream, calling her “a star” who “found her stage in our courtroom.”

One of her “many virtues” that defined her time on the bench, he said, was her “humility.”

“The court was her family, too. This building was her home,” he said. “Ruth is gone and we grieve.”

“May she rest in peace,” Roberts said, standing alongside a portrait of Ginsburg.

Then, in an unprecedented move because of the pandemic, her casket was brought outside and placed under the court’s portico so members of the public could pay their respects.

There has been an outpouring of public support at the court since word of Ginsburg’s death at age 87 came Friday night and with warm, sunny weather in Washington on Wednesday, large crowds were expected.

Many mourners had started to gather early Wednesday morning near the court steps where there had been a makeshift memorial of flowers and messages in remembrance of the impact she has had on people’s lives in her almost 30 years as a liberal icon on the nation’s high court.

Ginsburg will lie in repose at the court through Thursday and the White House announced that President Donald Trump would go to the court Thursday to pay his respects.

On Friday, Ginsburg will lie in state at the Capitol, the first woman in U.S. history to be so honored.

Nearby in the Capitol, a bitter political battle continued over her replacement.

She will be interred next week next to her husband of 56 years at Arlington National Cemetery.

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