Obama snubs Scalia funeral: President will NOT attend requiem for conservative Supreme Court justice – and White House can’t say whether he’ll be golfing

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
By Paul Martin

By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent
17 February 2016

President Barack Obama will not attend conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral on Saturday, the White House says.

The president and first lady will instead pay their respects on Friday while Scalia lays in repose at the high court.

‘I can tell you that Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will attend Justice Scalia’s funeral at the Basilica on Saturday,’ White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

It was not immediately clear why the president won’t go to the formal funeral.

‘I don’t have a sense of what the president’s plans are for Saturday,’ Earnest said after a reporter suggested it would be bad form for him to go golfing, a favorite weekend activity of Obama’s.

The White House official had few details on the executive branch’s involvement in the funeral proceedings. He could not say whether the vice president would give a eulogy.

At the suggestion that the president might go to a private ceremony on Friday, Earnest said the White House would additional details at a later time.

When active Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice William Rehnquist passed away in 2005, then-President George W. Bush attended the ceremony and gave a tribute to the Republican-appointed judge.

He did not attend the funeral of John F. Kennedy era judge Byron White. The ex-justice had retired a decade before before, however.

As Obama’s spokesman was peppered with questions about Scalia and Obama’s plans to replace him on the bench, Earnest said Friday presents an ‘important opportunity’ for the president and first lady to pay their respects to Scalia.

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