Obama to skip Scalia funeral, will pay respects Friday at court

Obama to skip Scalia funeral, will pay respects Friday at court

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will travel to the Supreme Court Friday to pay their respects to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, but they will not attend his funeral Saturday.  

Scalia’s body will lie in repose in the Great Hall of the court Friday, and the building will be open to the public to allow visitors to honor the justice, who died last Saturday at 79.  


White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obamas will not attend Scalia’s Saturday funeral at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill, will be present instead.  

Earnest would not say whether anything was on the president's schedule that prevented him from going to the funeral.

Scalia’s death set off an immediate partisan battle over whether Obama should appoint a successor during his final year in office, overshadowing public mourning of the conservative jurist. 

"It’s important, before we rush into the all the politics of this, to take stock of somebody who made enormous contributions to the United States," Obama said at a press conference Tuesday in California. "And we are grateful not only for his service but for his family’s service."