Unable to resist the urge to give one last snub to the Supreme Court justice who opposed him at every turn, President Obama will not attend the funeral of Antonin Scalia on Saturday.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not say if the president had anything else planned for that day.
Obama will “pay his respects” to Scalia by viewing the remains at the Supreme Court on Friday.
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.
PHOTOS – Antonin Scalia: The Supreme Court Justice’s Life in Pictures
Four out of the past seven funerals for a Supreme Court justice have either had the president or vice president in attendance.
Former President George W. Bush attended the funeral for Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Former President Bill Clinton attended the funerals for former Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Justice William Brennan but did not attend the funerals for Justices Harry Blackmun or Lewis F. Powell Jr.
Former Vice President Al Gore attended the funeral for Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Scalia’s chair on the Supreme Court bench and the bench itself were draped with black wool crepe in memoriam Tuesday — a Supreme Court tradition. In addition, a black drape was hung over the courtroom doors.
In none of those other cases was there such a personal animus on the part of the president toward a justice. Scalia’s scathing dissents on Obamacare cases no doubt angered the president. And just recently, Scalia was part of the majority that struck down the president’s climate change plans. It’s no wonder that the president will find something else to do this weekend than go to Scalia’s funeral — probably play golf.
Another reason for the president to avoid the funeral has been the reaction to Scalia’s death from his unhinged, radical base. They’ve made clear their feelings that Scalia’s death is a good thing for them and they’re glad he died.
Perhaps the president is too.