Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May Justice Antonin Scalia rest in peace.
Justice Scalia’s grieving widow and children lead hundreds of mourners in a final farewell to the towering, divisive judge while his body lies in repose in the Supreme Court
- Justice Antonin Scalia’s family paid a silent tribute alongside fellow Supreme Court judges inside its Great Hall
- His son, father Paul Scalia, recited traditional prayers over the casket after its procession in Washington, DC
- Maureen Scalia, the justice’s grieving widow, appeared frail as she was escorted from the court by family members
- Draped in an American flag, Scalia’s casket was carried into the court where it will lay in repose in the Great Hall
- Hundreds lined the streets as the towering judge’s body arrived at the Supreme Court on Friday morning
The grieving family of Justice Antonin Scalia have led hundreds of mourners in a final farewell to the powerhouse judge as his body lies in repose in the Supreme Court.
Draped in an American flag, his casket was carried into the Great Hall by eight pallbearers from the court’s police.
A total of 180 law clerks lined the steps of the Supreme Court as Scalia’s casket was carried in to the hall, followed by his frail widow, Maureen Scalia, and eight of their nine children.
Waiting inside was Scalia’s son, father Paul Scalia, who recited traditional prayers as his father’s body arrived. ‘You have called your servant Antonin out of this world,’ he said. ‘May he rest in peace.’
Fellow Supreme Court justices and Scalia’s family stood in silence as they paid a touching tribute to the towering, divisive judge.
Hundreds of people lined the streets in Washington, DC, as the hearse carrying Scalia arrived this morning. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will be among those to pay their respects at the court, where Scalia spent nearly three decades as one of its most influential members, later today.
FINAL SNUB FROM PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He will NOT attend Scalia’s funeral mass on Saturday, where Vice President Joe Biden is expected to be in attendance.
In a break from tradition, fellow and former Supreme Court justices waited inside the hall for Scalia’s arrival. Previously, following the death of a justice, they have waited on the steps alongside other officials and dignitaries.
Supreme Court police served as pallbearers to carry the casket up the marble steps into the court’s Great Hall.
The procession passed between two long lines of 180 former law clerks that stretched from the plaza to the court’s main entrance. Another group of 12 former clerks serving as honorary pallbearers followed. The clerks will take turns standing guard by Scalia’s body while he lays in repose. The procession then passed before the court’s eight current justices and the casket was placed on the Lincoln Catafalque – where President Abraham Lincoln’s coffin once rested at the Rotunda of the Capitol in 1865. Only six other Supreme Court justices have been given such an honor, Chief Justices Earl Warren, Warren Burger and William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan and Harry Blackmun, USA Today reported.
Several of the justices, particularly Elena Kagan, a liberal who was known to go on hunting trips with the staunchly conservative Scalia, looked emotional as they stood in a row while the casket was placed on a raised bier in front of them. Chief Justice John Roberts, his hands clasped in front of him, bowed his head.
A portrait of Scalia painted by artist Nelson Shanks in 2007 will be placed next to the casket. In it, the justice is shown surrounded by images representing important moments and influences in his life, including a framed wedding photograph of his wife, Maureen. The doors to the court chamber were open at the east end of the hall. Black wool crepe hung over the entrance, and Scalia’s courtroom chair was draped in black.
A private ceremony will be held inside the court until about 10.30am, after which the public will be able to view the casket until 8pm. The sudden death of the outspoken, conservative justice complicated an already tumultuous election year. Republicans, including a number of the party’s presidential candidates, say a replacement should not be named until the next president takes office. Obama has pledged to pick a replacement ‘in due time’ and challenged Republicans to hold a vote on his nominee. ‘The Constitution is pretty clear about what’s supposed to happen now,’ Obama said on Tuesday as he outlined his role as the executive to put forth a name to replace Scalia. The president said: ‘Historically this has not been viewed as a question. There’s no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years. That’s not in the Constitutional text.’ Obama wouldn’t promise to nominate a ‘moderate,’ consensus candidate, saying people should not ‘assume anything about the qualifications’ of the person he’ll pick ‘other than they’re gonna be well-qualified’.
Scalia’s body was discovered in his bedroom at Texas ranch between 11.30am and 11.40am on Saturday morning. Scalia, who had a history of heart problems, had been enjoying a quail shoot at the property with friends but retired to bed early on Friday night after complaining of tiredness.
The next morning, friends of the late Justice attempted to call him at around 8.30am but on getting no answer, decided to go out. On their return, at 11.30am, they broke into Scalia’s room and found him lying ‘cold’ in his bed. The Mass open to family and friends will take place Saturday at 11am at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Burial plans have not been released.