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

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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:

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

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Supreme Court - flag at half mast for Antonin Scalia - SCOTUS
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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 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)
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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

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