Chief Justice John Roberts is reportedly mulling a no-show, and Associate Justice Sam Alito has already confirmed that he will be elsewhere.
An official with the University of Hawaii Law School confirms to FOX News that Alito, who was a significant part of the controversy last year, will be with students in Honolulu all week and therefore will not attend Tuesday night’s speech. It will be the first time he will not show.
“To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally, I’m not sure why we’re there,” Roberts said last March. But the escalated calls for bipartisan civility on Capitol Hill might argue against Roberts sending his regrets.
At issue, of course, is President Obama’s conduct during last year’s SOTU. He called out the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, and Alito was seen on camera saying “not true” in reply. Obama asserted that that decision allows foreign corporations to donate in US elections, which is particulary galling in light of his own campaign’s use of foreign-sourced donations in 2008.
Thomas and Scalia don’t attend and haven’t for years, so tomorrow we may see only the liberal bloc plus Kennedy at the SOTU.