Justice Stephen Breyer Writes Emotional Poem to Honor 'My Good, Good Friend' Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"The world is a better place for her having lived in it," wrote Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

Notable legal and political figures continue to mourn the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday at the age of 87, due to complications of metastatic cancer.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who served alongside Ginsburg for nearly 27 years, honored the late justice with a poem.

In a statement released over the weekend, Breyer, 82, said that he learned of Ginsburg's death at a Rosh Hashanah service, while reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish, a prayer traditionally recited for the dead.

The news spurred Breyer — who has been on the court since 1994, when he was appointed by former President Bill Clinton — to pen his thoughts on Ginsburg, in the form of a poem.

Stephen Breyer; Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen Breyer (left), Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mark Wilson/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The following is the poem in full:

Other current and former justices also released tributes to Ginsburg. Justice Clarence Thomas called her "a picture of grace and courage," while Justice Sonia Sotomayor called her "dear friend" and "American hero."

The son of late Justice Antonin Scalia — who formed an unlikely friendship with Ginsburg during their time on the bench together — also reflected on his father's memories of the liberal icon in the wake of her death.

Retired Justice David Souter, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush and served on the court from 1990 until his retirement in 2009, offered a shorter, but no less impactful, statement on Ginsburg's death: “Ruth Ginsburg was one of the members of the Court who achieved greatness before she became a great justice. I loved her to pieces.”

Ginsburg's impact went far beyond the court. Following the announcement of her death, hundreds gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to honor the late justice, singing "Amazing Grace" and clutching flowers and candles.

Ginsburg will lie in repose for three days of public viewings beginning Wednesday, when she will be the first woman and the first Jewish person to lie in state at the Capitol building.

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