President Barack Obama will not attend Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral Saturday, the White House confirmed. Instead, the president will pay his respects on Friday, when Scalia’s body lies in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court building. Vice President Joe Biden will attend Scalia’s funeral at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the White House said Wednesday during a press briefing.

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. READ MORE