Antonin Scalia Praised From the Bench as Supreme Court Returns

PHOTO: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia waits for the beginning of the taping of "The Kalb Report" in Washington, April 17, 2014.PlayAlex Wong/Getty Images
WATCH Chief Justice Roberts Honors Scalia From the Bench

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts this morning addressed the loss of the late Justice Antonin Scalia from the bench during opening remarks before oral arguments.

“Today marks the loss of our friend and colleague who died unexpectedly,” Roberts said to a packed courtroom.

Scalia, 79, was found dead Feb. 13. He lay in repose at the court Friday, where the public visited and paid their respects. Thousands attended his funeral Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

Scalia’s chair was still draped in black as the eight justices entered the courtroom, returning to work today for the first time since Scalia’s death.

Roberts read aloud Scalia’s many accomplishments, from his time at Georgetown University to Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude and met his future wife, to his appointment by President Ronald Reagan to the Supreme Court in 1986.

Roberts mentioned the one and only case that Scalia argued before the Supreme Court in 1976. “He prevailed and established a perfect record at the court,” Roberts said to laughter from the room.

The chief justice also drew laughter from the crowd in the court when he said that despite writing many majority opinions, Scalia was “known on occasion to decent.”

A memorial service will be held at the court “at an appropriate time,” Roberts said.