President Barack Obama will not attend the funeral of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the White House confirmed Wednesday.
According to press secretary Josh Earnest, the president and first lady Michelle Obama will instead “pay their respects” on Friday during a visit to the Supreme Court.
“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,” he said.
Alternatively, Earnest stated that Vice President Joe Biden and his wife would attend the Saturday service at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
“I can tell you that Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will attend Justice Scalia’s funeral at the Basilica on Saturday,” he added.
As noted by Politico, “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.”
Despite repeated attempts by the press to find out Obama’s plans Saturday, Earnest both refused to provide specific details and answer questions regarding whether or not the president would be using the time to golf instead.
“I don’t have a sense of what the president’s plans are for Saturday,” Earnest said.