US President Donald Trump paid respects to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, just two days before he announced his nominee to replace her on the top court.

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump pay respects as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose at the Supreme Court building, September 24, 2020, in Washington.
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump pay respects as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose at the Supreme Court building, September 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP)

US President Donald Trump has been greeted with jeers and boos as he has visited the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's flag-draped coffin outside the US Supreme Court, by a crowd who had gathered to honour the liberal justice.

Trump, wearing a black face mask and accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, stood near the casket at the marble court building amid boos and chants of "vote him out" on Thursday. The moment highlighted the public flashpoint Ginsburg's death has become ahead of the November 3 presidential election.

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Trump has called Ginsburg an “amazing woman,” but some spectators were not happy that he came.

Anti-Trump protesters on the street could be heard shouting "Vote him out" and "Honour her wish" – a reference to Ginsburg's stated desire that she not be replaced until after a new president is inaugurated.

The Republican president, who has already installed two top court picks since taking office in 2017, said earlier he would unveil his latest choice on Saturday, a week after the 87-year-old justice died on September 18.

His decision to move quickly on a replacement less than two months before the election has drawn sharp battle lines between Republicans and Democrats, and reshaped the race as Trump seeks re-election during a coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 200,000 people in the United States and devastated the economy.

READ MORE: Hundreds of mourners pay respects to late Justice Ginsburg

Icon for liberals

Ginsburg, appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1993, was an icon for liberals, especially as the court grew increasingly conservative.

Her death has sparked a renewed push by Democrats to get people to the polls in November and an outpouring of campaign donations.

Before the 2016 election that made Trump president, Ginsburg criticised him publicly, calling him "a faker" in one interview. Trump responded by writing Ginsburg's "mind is shot" on Twitter. She later apologised, saying she regretted the "ill-advised" comments.

Trump drew criticism in recent days for not honouring Ginsburg's wish at the end of her life, reportedly dictated in a statement to her granddaughter, that she be replaced by the next president. 

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies