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Trump booed as he pays respects to Justice Ginsburg
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Trump booed as he pays respects to Justice Ginsburg

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was booed Thursday as he paid respects to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He plans to nominate a replacement this weekend for the liberal justice, best known for her advancement of women’s rights.

The president and first lady Melania Trump — both wearing masks — stood silently at the top of the steps of the court and looked down at Ginsburg’s flag-draped coffin, which was surrounded by white flowers. Ginsburg’s death has sparked a controversy over the political balance of the court just weeks before the November presidential election.

Trump acknowledged hearing the chant, but dismissed it as not very strong. “We could hardly hear it from where we were,” he told reporters on the South Lawn later Thursday.

Supreme Court Ginsburg

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump pay respects as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose at the Supreme Court building on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington.

Moments after Trump arrived, booing could be heard from spectators about a block away from the court building. They chanted “vote him out” as the president stood near the coffin. Trump walked back into the court as the chants grew louder.

As his motorcade returned to the White House, there were also chants of “Breonna Taylor” from some spectators standing on the sidewalk. Their calls came one day after it was announced that a Kentucky grand jury had brought no charges against Louisville police for her killing during a drug raid connected to a suspect who did not live at Taylor’s home.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said people have First Amendment rights, but she found the jeers “an appalling and disrespectful thing to do as the president honored Justice Ginsburg."

Trump has called Ginsburg an “amazing woman.” Her body will lie in state at the Capitol on Friday, the first time a woman receives that distinction, and only the second time it will be bestowed on a Supreme Court justice. William Howard Taft, who had also served as president, was also recognized in such a manner. The body of Rosa Parks, a private citizen and not a government official, previously has lain in honor at the Capitol.

Ginsburg will be buried alongside her husband, Martin, in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery next week. Martin Ginsburg died in 2010.

Photos: Scenes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg's memorial service

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