Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hailed as the nation's "leading advocate" against gender-based discrimination as her flag-draped casket lay in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
During a private ceremony at the court's Great Hall, attended by her family, close friends and members of the court, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts called Ginsburg "brave" and "a fighter" who defied discrimination to rise to the high court bench.
"She chose the law," he said. "Subjected to discrimination in law school and the job market because she was a woman, Ruth would grow to become the leading advocate fighting such discrimination in court."
Ginsburg, who in 1993 became the second woman and first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court, died Friday at the age of 87 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt said Ginsburg, a bookkeeper's daughter from New York City, was "born into a world that does not see you, that does not believe in your potential," and yet became "a true American hero."
"Nothing could stop Justice Ginsburg's unflagging devotion," she added -- not even cancer.
"We promise to carry forward your legacy."
The private ceremony occurred shortly before Ginsburg's casket was moved outdoors to the Supreme Court main portico for public viewing.
The public will be allowed to attend the viewing until 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Ginsburg's casket arrived at the building just before 9:30 a.m. and was carried up the front steps by Supreme Court police officers. Former clerks served as honorary pallbearers and lined the front steps as the casket arrived.
Friday, Ginsburg move to the nearby the U.S. Capitol to lie in state -- the first woman and only the second Supreme Court justice to receive the honor.
A private interment service will be held next week at her burial plot at Arlington National Cemetery.