Ginsburg, a champion of women’s rights and the second women to serve on the Supreme Court, died Friday at age 87.
Hours after news of her death, people surrounded the building, raising flags and at one point singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Amazing Grace.”
Crowds chanted “RBG!” as scores of memorial candles flickered in the wind along the front steps of the court. People left bouquets of flowers, small American flags and handwritten condolence messages for Ginsburg.
“Thank you RBG,” one sign read. On the sidewalk, “RBG” was drawn inside a pink chalk heart.
Jennifer Berger, 37, said she felt compelled to join the large crowd that gathered to pay tribute to Ginsburg’s life.
“I think it is important for us to recognize such a trailblazer,” she said. “It is amazing to see how many people are feeling this loss tonight and saying goodbye.”
Ginsburg was Jewish and passed away on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Mourners said a recitation of the Kaddish, the Jewish mourners prayer, on the steps of the building.
The memorial service remained mostly peaceful and somber, but turned tense for several minutes after a man with a megaphone approached people in the crowd and began to chant that “Roe v. Wade is dead,” a refence to the landmark Supreme Court ruling establishing abortion rights nationwide.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.