Supreme Court Drapes Scalia’s Bench Chair in Black

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s courtroom chair is draped in black to mark his death as part of a tradition that dates to the 19th century, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, at the Supreme Court in Washington. Scalia died Saturday at age 79. He joined the court in 1986 and was …
AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Justice Antonin Scalia’s bench chair and the bench in front of it at the Supreme Court are draped with a black wool crepe in his memory.

The Court also hung a black drape over the the courtroom doors and will fly the flags in front of the Court at half-staff for 30 days.

According to the Court’s announcement, the tradition of draping the bench chair, bench and courtroom doors in black has been a tradition going back to 1873 with the death of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. Since then, the Court added, the bench chair and bench have been draped following the deaths of sitting justices and the courtroom doors draped on the deaths of sitting or retired justices.

Scalia died over the weekend at a Texas Ranch. He will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Friday, NPR reports. The last justice to lie in repose at the Supreme Court was Chief Justice William Rehnquist, according to NPR’s report.

Scalia was 79 years old.

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