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Trump awards Medal of Freedom to late Justice Scalia, Elvis Presley, five others in ceremony

November 16, 2018

President Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom Friday to seven Americans three posthumously for their contributions to life in the U.S., including the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, music legend Elvis Presley and New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth.

Six current Supreme Court justices including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recovering from broken ribs attended the ceremony in the East Room to see Justice Scalia’s widow Maureen accept the honor on his behalf.

The president called the late justice “one of the greatest jurists ever to serve our country.”

Acknowledging Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and others, the president told the 85-year-old Justice Ginsburg, “glad to see you’re feeling great.”

The president also awarded the medal, for outstanding contributions to American life and culture, to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican who is retiring after 41 years; former Naval Academy and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach; former Minnesota Vikings player and Minnesota state Supreme Court justice Alan Page; and philanthropist Miriam Adelson, wife of casino magnate and major GOP donor Sheldon Adelson. A physician, she he has practiced internal and emergency medicine, specialized in the disease of narcotic addiction, and founded two research centers committed to fighting substance abuse, the White House said.

The president said he once saw Elvis Presley, who died in 1977, perform in Las Vegas. The East Room reverberated with strains of “the King” singing “How Great Thou Art.” The medal was accepted by Jack Soden, president and CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, on behalf of his family.

Babe Ruth’s medal was accepted by his grandson, Thomas Stevens.

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