White House: Obama will not attend Justice Scalia's funeral

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Obama Will Not Attend Scalia Funeral

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.

See more of Antonin Scalia through the years:

19 PHOTOS
Antonin Scalia
See Gallery
White House: Obama will not attend Justice Scalia's funeral
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks in Washington. Scalia is joining the debate over the Senate's torture report by saying itâs hard to rule out the use of extreme measures to extract information if millions of lives were threatened. Scalia told a Swiss broadcast network that American and European liberals who say such tactics may never be used are being self-righteous. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)
WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 21: United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (R) arrives at the American Enterprise Institue February 21, 2006 in Washington, DC. Justice Scalia delivered the keynote address about foreign law and the debate about how it is used in American Law during the seminar called 'Outsourcing Of American Law.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 10: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia walks October 10, 2005 in the annual Columbus Day Parade in New York City. This is the 61st Columbus Parade which celebrates both the explorer and Italian cultural influence on America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 29: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia addresses the Philadelphia Bar Association during a luncheon April 29, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Scalia presented the first Antonin Scalia Award to Philadelphia lawyer and former American Bar President Jerome J. Shestack. Scalia is the third U.S. Supreme Court Justice to Address the Philadelphia Bar Association members in less than a year. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES: US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (L) attends inaugural ceremonies 20 January 2w005 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. US President George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term in a solemn ceremony held under unprecedented security on the steps of the US Capitol. (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A.CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - JANUARY 25: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the fifth annual Ava Maria School of Law lecture January 25, 2005 on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scalia talked about religion and U.S. Constitution. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
384802 07: (FILE PHOTO) This undated file photo shows Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC. (Photo by Liaison)
382727 01: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia talks with opera star Placido Domingo at a gala opening night dinner following a Washington Opera performance Oct 21, 2000 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Karin Cooper/Liaison)
382727 17: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia looks at a painting during an opening at the National Gallery of Art September 27, 2000 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Karin Cooper/Liaison)
371151 07: Louis Freeh, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, left, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia applaud during the Mass of Installation for Archbishop Edward Egan June 19, 2000 at St. Patrick''s Cathedral in New York. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)
382727 05: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia attends a National Gallery of Art opening ceremony September 27, 2000 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Karin Cooper/Liaison)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 29: (L-R) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Jason Binn, and Charles Merinoff inside the Correspondent's After Party hosted by Capitol File Magazine on April 29, 2006 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images)
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia joins the members of the Supreme Court for photos during a group portrait session, at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, Monday, Oct. 31, 2005. President Reagan nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat Sept. 26, 1986. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a formal portrait in Washington, April 15, 1988. From left, front row are: Associate Justices Thurgood Marshall; William Brennan, Jr.; Chief Justice William Rehnquist; Byron White; and Harry Blackmun. Back row from left are: Antonin Scalia; John Paul Stevens; Sandra Day O'Connor; and the court's newest member, Anthony M. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Bob Daugherty)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia administers the oath of allegiance to new citizens, during a ceremony commemorating the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiersâ National Cemetery and President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa. Lincoln's speech was first delivered in Gettysburg nearly five months after the major battle that left tens of thousands of men wounded, dead or missing. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia jokes about his experiences as a law student at a program with fellow Justice Elena Kagan, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. Both justices spoke to an open audience of professionals, professors, students and area residents about their law school and professional experiences as well as some of their court decisions. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gives the keynote speech at the Snake River Adjudication celebration dinner at the Boise Center on the Grove in Boise, Idaho, on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stands at the edge of the stage after a question and answer session delivered as part of a lecture series at Tufts University, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, in Medford, Mass. Scalia, who has served on the nation's highest court since 1986 following a nomination by President Ronald Reagan, spoke about interpreting the U.S. Constitution. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

READ MORE: Obama Hails Justice Antonin Scalia, Says He Will Nominate Successor

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.

RELATED: The scene outside the Supreme Court after Scalia's passing:

12 PHOTOS
Supreme Court - flag at half mast for Antonin Scalia - SCOTUS
See Gallery
White House: Obama will not attend Justice Scalia's funeral
A candle is seen at the steps of the US Supreme Court February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC, following the announcement of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia, a fiery conservative who helped shape American legal thought, was first appointed to the highest court in the land in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, making him the first Italian-American to serve there. Scalia was 79. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A worship announcement is posted in front of the United Methodist Building across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington where the flag flies at half-staff in honor of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
A U.S. flag flies at half-staff in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, after is was announced that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, had died. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
A flag at the US Supreme Court is lowered to half staff February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC, following the announcement of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia, a fiery conservative who helped shape American legal thought, was first appointed to the highest court in the land in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, making him the first Italian-American to serve there. Scalia was 79. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: The American flag flies at half mast at the U.S. Supreme Court February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was at a Texas Ranch Saturday morning when he died at the age of 79. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: A young man places a candle light in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., February 13, 2016, after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia died today on a ranch near San Antonio, TX. He was 79. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The US Supreme Court is seen February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC, following the announcement of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia, a fiery conservative who helped shape American legal thought, was first appointed to the highest court in the land in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, making him the first Italian-American to serve there. Scalia was 79. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of the US Capitol from the Supreme Court February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of the US Supreme Court on February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a fiery conservative who helped shape American legal thought, died on February 13, 2016. He was 79. Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the high court, died in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Texas, local media reported. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
The US Capitol is seen from US Supreme Court February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who helped shape the legal thought of his time, has died, the governor of his home state of Texas confirmed Saturday, February 13, 2016. He was 79. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
The US Supreme Court is seen February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC, following the announcement of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia, a fiery conservative who helped shape American legal thought, was first appointed to the highest court in the land in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, making him the first Italian-American to serve there. Scalia was 79. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

SEE MORE: 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.

Watch more coverage:

Obama: 'I Intend To Do My Job' With SCOTUS; Expect Same From Senate

More from NBCNews.com:
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Endorses Rubio
Officials Remain Out of Sync on Flint Pipe Switch
Man Arrested for Unpaid Student Loan Debt From 1987

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners