A senior GOP senator gave his blessing on Monday night to U.S. Supreme Court justices who want to watch Tuesday night's State of the Union address from home.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), who served as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the last Congress, said he enjoyed having justices at the annual speech, but didn't find it necessary that they attend.


"It has gotten to the point where I don't think it is probably good the speeches are so political. It is the president's agenda, and his party members are so supportive and the people who don't agree sit on their hands," Sessions said on Fox News. "And so I think it is just as good for them to watch from home."

Questions have swirled about whether all nine members of the high court will attend Tuesday's address, particularly given what happened during last year's speech, when President Obama voiced a rare criticism of the court for a recent campaign finance ruling.

Justice Samuel Alito, who voted in favor of the Citizens United case Obama had been castigating, was seen on camera mouthing disagreement with the president.

The hubbub from last year has spawned speculation about whether Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts might skip Tuesday's speech, which could be seen as a subtle rebuke to Obama. The Washington Post reported Tuesday Alito would skip the speech due to a prior engagement. Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday told The Hill that he would not attend.

"I've always enjoyed them coming," Sessions said. "I thought it was good they were willing to come and sit through that."

Sessions isn't the only one keeping an eye on the situation. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a former Texas state Supreme Court justice, said it "will be interesting to see how many" members of the court show for the address.

Some justices have been in the political spotlight of late. Roberts swore in staff members for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) earlier this month, and Scalia taught a constitutional seminar for GOP lawmakers this week, at the request of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). Justice Clarence Thomas's wife is also a noted Tea Party activist.

One justice who's almost certain to attend the speech is Elena Kagan, whom Obama successfully named to the court last year. This would be her first State of the Union address as a member of the court.