NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) – More than 100 of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s former law clerks were in Washington D.C this week to pay their respects.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway spoke with one of them, who now works in New Jersey.
When Justice Ginsburg arrived at the Supreme Court for the final time Wednesday, she was not alone.
An army of her current and former law clerks lined the steps as honorary pallbearers, paying respect to a woman they revered.
“It was heartbreaking because we lost a national hero,” said Rachel Wainer Apter. “But, it was beautiful being able to watch so many different people of all genders, ages, races, religions, come to say their goodbye.”
Wainer Apter clerked with Justice Ginsburg from 2011 to 2012. She’s now the Director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. She was inspired when it was her turn to stand vigil for the late Justice.
“I saw people praying, crying and saluting. I saw a woman wearing a hijab talking to a women wearing a homemade t-shirt that read ‘We will fight on.’ And we will,” Wainer Apter said.
Justice Ginsburg was a legal giant and a fierce champion of equality. But, she still made time to be a mentor to those who worked by her side, treating those lucky few who clerked for her like family.
“The Justice sat with me for hours when I would come back to visit in the years after I finished clerking. She spent time with all three of my children. She was always there when I needed career advice or life advice,” Wainer Apter said.
Justice Ginsburg became the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday. The tireless advocate can finally rest, but her achievements and legacy live on.
“Before becoming a judge, Justice Ginsburg convinced nine male Supreme Court Justices to enshrine equal citizenship for women into the Constitution. But, her work was never about equal rights only for women. Instead, it was about allowing all people to chart their own life’s course without discrimination or prejudice,” said Wainer Apter.
120 current and former law clerks traveled to Washington to take part in the ceremony Wednesday.
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