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New book reveals McConnell refused to let RBG lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda

The story is contained in a new book about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

By Emily Singer - April 15, 2021
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

After Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, 2020, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to honor the liberal hero by allowing her to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

The story is included in “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” a forthcoming book by USA Today journalist Susan Page.

Page writes that House Speaker Pelosi sought to make Ginsburg the first woman to lie in state in the Rotunda.

The website of the Architect of the Capitol says of use of the premises to honor those who have died, “No law, written rule, or regulation specifies who may lie in state; use of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda is controlled by concurrent action of the House and Senate. Any person who has rendered distinguished service to the nation may lie in state if the family so wishes and Congress approves.”

But according to Page, “McConnell rejected the idea on the grounds that there was no precedent for such treatment of a justice.”

Instead, Pelosi allowed Ginsburg’s coffin to lie in state in Statuary Hall, located on the House side of the Capitol.

McConnell did not attend the service honoring Ginsburg, and later ignored her dying wish that her replacement be nominated by the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

McConnell rushed through Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court days before the election, despite having refused even to hold a hearing for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016, on the grounds that it was too close to an election to confirm the sitting president’s choice.

“Mitch McConnell is not a force for good in our country,” Page reports that Pelosi said. “He is an enabler of some of the worst stuff, and an instigator of some of it on his own.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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