William Brennan's closed, flag-draped casket was brought to the Supreme Court today as his former colleagues, family and others mourned the death of one of the most influential jurists in U.S. history.
Brennan's casket was carried up the court's marbled steps across from the U.S. Capitol by 10 pallbearers who had worked as law clerks for the legendary liberal whose rulings expanded the rights of most Americans.
Once the casket was inside the Supreme Court's Great Hall, it was placed on a historic catafalque -- the same one used in 1865 for the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln -- for a day of lying-in-state.
Three of the nine current Supreme Court members, two retired colleagues, Brennan's wife, his three children and numerous court employees attended a brief ceremony before the hall was opened for public viewing.
A Catholic priest, the Rev. Milton Jordan, referred to Brennan's accomplishments during 34 years on the nation's highest court.
"This was his life. This was his way of touching our lives," he said.
Brennan, who retired from the bench in 1990, died Thursday after a long illness at age 91.
Brennan's funeral will be held Tuesday in St. Matthew's Cathedral. Among those expected to deliver eulogies is President Clinton.