President Barack Obama was seen walking from the West Wing into the White House on Friday night, a binder of potential Supreme Court nominees under his arm.
Josh Earnest, Obama’s White House Press Secretary, said the president will spend a significant portion of his weekend reviewing individuals who ‘may be worthy of consideration’.
‘I would expect the president will spend a significant portion of his weekend digging into those materials,’ he added.
Earlier today Obama and Michelle paid their respects at the Supreme Court as Justice Antonin Scalia’s body lay in repose.
The president then spoke during a Democratic Governors Association Meeting, in which he told a group of Democratic governors he will press voting rights this year.
Earnest said on Thursday the president would be skipping Scalia’s funeral on Saturday because of his ‘security footprint’.
Announcing the president’s plans to attend the Friday ceremony but not following day’s funeral, Earnest said: ‘I can tell you that Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will attend Justice Scalia’s funeral at the Basilica on Saturday.’
‘Vice President Biden, who is somebody that had his own personal relationship with Justice Scalia and his family, will be representing the administration at the funeral,’ he said.
‘Obviously, when the Vice President travels someplace, his security footprint is at least a little bit lighter.’
He added: ‘But given his personal relationship with the family, and given the President’s desire to find a respectful way to pay tribute to Justice Scalia’s service to the country, we believe we have settled on an appropriate and respectful arrangement.’
The White House official also pointed to Obama’s laudatory words about Scalia both on the night his death was announced, last Saturday, and at press conference on Tuesday.
‘There’s so much rancor and politics and partisanship that we allow ourselves to get drawn into different corners to the extent that some people actually want to use the funeral of a Supreme Court justice as some sort of political cudgel.’
‘The President doesn’t think that that’s appropriate. And in fact, what the President thinks is appropriate is respectfully paying tribute to high-profile, patriotic American citizens even when you don’t agree on all the issues. And that’s what he’s going to do.’