Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s nearly 30 years on the bench was not enough to get President Obama out of bed for a weekend funeral.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Wednesday that Obama will not be attending Scalia’s funeral this Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Vice President Joe Biden will be in attendance instead.
Earnest told reporters that Obama will view Scalia’s body on Friday while it lies in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court building. The 79-year-old justice died last Saturday during a visit to a private residence near the Cibolo Creek Ranch near Shafter, Texas.
“The president will pay his respects at the Supreme Court on Friday and he’ll be joined with the first lady when he does that,” Earnest said, NBC News reported.
Earnest skirted a question on Obama’s potential golf plans by discussing Scalia’s years of service.
Former President George W. Bush attended Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s funeral in 2005 and gave a eulogy.
“Some amazing advice my mom gave me once: ‘If you’re wondering whether you should go to the funeral, you should go to the funeral,” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tweeted in response to the news. Tim Miller, the communications director for Jeb Bush, replied, “Same,” Politico reported.
The White House said it will not nominate a replacement for Scalia while Congress is in recess this week, but Obama is expected to do so in the near future.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder and current Attorney General Loretta Lynch are two of the most recognizable names pundits have suggested for Obama’s short list. Others include former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker; Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford; and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobucher and California Attorney General Kamala Harris, as WND reported.