While his colleagues got ready to go to the Capitol, Justice Antonin Scalia sat on a stage across town and held forth about why, for the 16th consecutive year, he would not be joining them for the State of the Union.

He doesn’t go when a Democrat is president. He stays away when the president is Republican.

“It has turned into a childish spectacle. I don’t want to be there to lend dignity to it,” Scalia said, with a certain amount of mischief.

The 76-year-old justice has previously made clear his disdain for the event, but Tuesday may have been the first time he did so at nearly the same time as the speech.

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