Unless the Scalia family asked him not to attend for some reason, which I’d guess is unlikely, what’s a good excuse to miss it? Biden will be there, as will various Supreme Court justices past and present, so security will be tight regardless. Says Chris Hayes, “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.'”
Obama will pay his respects on Friday at the Supreme Court building, where Scalia will lie in repose.
When pressed for clarification on Obama missing the funeral, White House press secretary Josh Earnest repeated that “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.”
When asked whether Obama’s Saturday plans include golfing, Earnest stressed instead that the president believes it is important to honor Scalia’s life and service…
Four out of the past seven funerals for a Supreme Court justice has either had the president or vice president in attendance.
Former President George W. Bush attended the funeral for Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
He’s not going to golf while the rest of D.C. is saying farewell to Scalia. Right?
As noted in the excerpt, including the upcoming service on Saturday, the president or VP will have attended only four of the last seven funerals for a justice. What’s not noted, though, is that six of those seven had already retired to private life when they died. Of the previous six — Rehnquist, Burger, Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Powell — only Rehnquist was a sitting justice when he passed, and Dubya made a point of attending his funeral. Scalia, of course, was also a sitting justice, but Obama won’t be there. How come? If he doesn’t respect the man, he could and should respect the office.
In other news, per NBC, Al Gore rather than Bill Clinton was the White House representative at Thurgood Marshall’s funeral. The so-called first black president couldn’t bother to personally attend the funeral of the first black justice, who famously secured school desegregation as an attorney in Brown v. Board of Education? Good luck giving a Republican president a pass on that one.
Here’s Josh Earnest conveniently telling reporters that Obama now “regrets” filibustering Justice Alito in 2006 because obstructing nominees is wrong ‘n stuff. Too late, champ.