President Obama Will Not Attend Justice Scalia's Funeral

Posted: Feb 17, 2016 3:17 PM

The president and first lady will not be in attendance at Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral this Saturday. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill will be in attendance. The service will be held on Saturday at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

President Obama and Michelle will pay their respects at the Supreme Court on Friday. Scalia will lie in repose in the Court's Great Hall until 8:00 p.m. that night.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama instead will go to the Supreme Court on Friday “to pay their respects to Justice Scalia” while the justice lies in repose in the Great Hall, press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

The last time a justice died was Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2005, and at that time President George W. Bush not only attended the funeral but also eulogized him.

Earnest declined to elaborate on what the Obamas would be doing on Saturday in lieu of the funeral. While it's not unheard of for presidents to miss the funerals of retired justices, Obama's absence on Saturday may be the first time in at least 65 years that a current president has skipped the funeral of a sitting justice.