Supreme Court to drape Scalia's chair in black

Supreme Court to drape Scalia's chair in black
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The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will honor the late Justice Antonin Scalia by draping a black wool crepe on his chair and over the bench directly in front of his seat.

The Supreme Court said the drapery dates back to the death of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in 1873 and has been continued for the death of each sitting justice since then.

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The flags on the court’s front plaza will also fly at half-staff for 30 days in honor of Scalia, who was nominated to the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 after serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit with his good friend and fellow justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Scalia was found dead on Saturday at a hunting ranch in Texas. He was 79. 

On Sunday, the court released a statement from Ginsburg, in which she remembered her colleague for their shared love of the opera and his “reverence for the Constitution.”

“We disagreed now and then, but when I wrote for the Court and received a Scalia dissent, the opinion ultimately released was notably better than my initial circulation,” she said. “Justice Scalia nailed all the weak spots — the 'applesauce' and 'argle bargle' — and gave me just what I needed to strengthen the majority opinion. He was a jurist of captivating brilliance and wit, with a rare talent to make even the most sober judge laugh.”

Scalia was one of the court's conservative members, often voting with the four other justices picked by Republican presidents: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy. His vacancy now leaves the court evenly divided along ideological lines.