Without Explanation, McConnell And McCarthy Skip RBG Memorial Service

Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, John Hoeven

Sen. Mitch McConnell (left) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (right) with Sen. John Hoeven

Photo by SpeakerBoehner/ CC BY-NC 2.0

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell skipped a service on Capitol Hill honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, NBC News' Kasie Hunt reported.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was also not in attendance at the ceremony honoring Ginsburg, the pioneering Supreme Court justice who died one week ago after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

It's unclear why neither man attended the service. Doug Andres, a communications staffer for McConnell, declined to comment on what was on McConnell's schedule that precluded him from attending the event. "No guidance or announcements on his schedule," Andres said in an email. McCarthy's office did not immediately return a request for comment.

It is usually the tradition for the top four congressional leaders — the Senate majority and minority leader, and the House speaker and minority leader — to attend major events together, such as the ceremony honoring Ginsburg.

The decision to not attend the service comes after McConnell disrespected Ginsburg by releasing a statement just one hour after her death was reported that he was going to replace her on the court — ignoring her dying wish that a replacement not be chosen until after the election.

Ginsburg, for her part, made history on Friday, becoming the first woman to ever lie in state in the Capitol rotunda.

Major political dignitaries were in attendance at the ceremony, including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Donald Trump also did not attend the ceremony. Instead, he visited the Supreme Court steps on Thursday to pay his respects, where he found himself being relentlessly booed by onlookers.

This story was updated with a response from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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