Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice, Dies at 79

Antonin Scalia Dies: Supreme Court Associate
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Antonin Scalia, associate justice of the Supreme Court, has died at the age of 79. The news was confirmed by Texas Governor Greg Abott Saturday afternoon.

The judge was reportedly taken ill while on a hunting trip in Marfa, Texas.

Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, and was known as a strict originalist. In recent years he wrote some blistering dissents to landmark cases, like the recent decision in June that affirmed same-sex marriage rights nationwide.

His death leaves an opening in the Supreme Court, with questions over whether any nominee will be confirmed by the end of President Obama’s term. But it also may change the dynamics for existing cases on the court’s docket, including a case coming up for oral argument in March that challenges a Texas law restricting operations of abortion clinics.

The subject of Supreme Court nominees could be a hot topic at CBS’ Republican debate on Saturday. Scalia’s death set off intense media speculation about President Obama’s chances of confirming a new justice during he remainder of his tenure in office.

The court vacancy opens the possibility of a 4-4 split on the court between justices who lean conservative and those who lean liberal. Generally, in the case of a tie, the decision of the lower court stands.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a Facebook message, said, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz remembered Justice Scalia in a Facebook post on Saturday. “A champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history,” Cruz wrote of Scalia.

Senator Bernie Sanders had this to say of Scalia: “While I differed with Justice Scalia’s views and jurisprudence, he was a brilliant, colorful and outspoken member of the Supreme Court. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his colleagues on the court who mourn his passing.”

Rand Paul also shared his condolences.

The White House’s Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said, “This afternoon the President was informed of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The President and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to Justice Scalia’s family.”

Cynthia Littleton and Ted Johnson contributed to this report

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  1. steve barr says:

    He was a racist, homophobic, sexiist thug in a black robe . What will Clarence Thomas do now? He must feel so alone .

  2. Jacques Strappe says:

    Mamma Mia, not celebrating his passing but rejoicing at the possibility of a progressive justice replacing this ultra conservative theologian with someone who can appreciate the world in the present and not when Jesus was alive. I never realized how obese Scalia had become until I saw recent pictures. Probably died of a heart attack which was entirely constitutional but also very preventable.

  3. Sonny Skyhawk says:

    I disagree, he will not be missed, at least not by those he affected by his decisions, Italian or not,. The Native people of America, surely won’t miss him, neither will those who believe in affirmative action, in fact wit all due respect, good riddance.

  4. gmatusk says:

    Could it be that long-term use of black hair dye was a contributing factor to the demise of this vain blustering man?

    • Chicago860 says:

      Generally agreed that he was the smartest person on the court. Don’t you wish others said that about your performance?

  5. Ted Faraone says:

    Sorry to see him go. I did not agree with all of his judgements, but seeing a fellow Italian-American on the US Supreme Court was a great delight.

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