Megyn Kelly stated Thursday evening on The Kelly File that she can find no instance in history where a sitting president of the United States has failed to attend the funeral of a sitting Supreme Court Justice. It’s an unprecedented move on the part of Obama, who once again fails to uphold his duty as president, represent the country and set an example for the American people.
In lieu of attending the funeral on Saturday, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will visit the Supreme Court Friday to pay their respects as Justice Antonin Scalia lies in repose. Of note, there is nothing on the president’s calendar that would prevent him from attending or conflict with the funeral.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will attend the funeral at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. According to Earnest, the vice president’s “security footprint is a little bit lighter,” and he has a longtime relationship with Scalia’s family.
But many have slammed Obama for not attending the funeral of the longtime conservative justice, interpreting it as a sign of disrespect.
“If we want to reduce partisanship, we can start by honoring great public servants who we disagree with,” Obama’s former “car czar” Steven Rattner tweeted with a link to a headline about Obama skipping the funeral.
According to Politico, there’s not substantial historic precedent for presidents attending the funerals of sitting justices. President George W. Bush not only attended, but also eulogized Supreme Court Chief Justice and fellow conservative William Rehnquist in 2005. Prior to that, the last justice to die in office was Robert H. Jackson in 1954.
On Thursday, presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz dubbed Obama “a lawless and faithless president who’s eager to travel to Cuba but unwilling to attend the funeral of Justice Scalia.”
Tim Miller, the communications director for Jeb Bush, simply tweeted “Same.” in response to a message from MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who said, “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.”
Featured Image: US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference following a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Sunnylands estate on February 16, 2016 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)