POLITICS

Supreme Court Honors Justice Scalia With Long-Standing Tradition

The ritual is over 140 years old.

The Supreme Court is remembering the late Justice Antonin Scalia by draping a piece of black wool crepe over his bench chair and the bench directly in front of it. Black crepe is also hanging over the courtroom doors.

Justice Antonin Scalia's bench chair and the bench in front of his seat are draped in black to commemorate his death on
Justice Antonin Scalia's bench chair and the bench in front of his seat are draped in black to commemorate his death on Feb. 13, 2016.

According to a press release, the tradition dates back to the 1873 death of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, a noted abolitionist and civil rights proponent. It's reportedly how the court has honored the death of each sitting justice since then.

The flags in the Supreme Court building's front plaza will fly at half-staff for 30 days.

Scalia, who was the longest-serving justice on the court at the time of his death, died Saturday at a Texas ranch. He was known as one of the court’s most conservative members.

President Barack Obama is working to find a replacement for Scalia, though the Republicans who control the Senate say that task should be left up to the next president.

Scalia will lie in repose at the court on Friday and will be buried on Saturday, NPR reports.

More photos of the black draping in the courtroom can be seen below.

A close-up of Justice Antonin Scalia’s bench chair and the bench in front of his seat.
A close-up of Justice Antonin Scalia’s bench chair and the bench in front of his seat.
A view of the courtroom doors, which are draped in black to honor the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
A view of the courtroom doors, which are draped in black to honor the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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