Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dead At 79
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has died of natural causes, the Huffington Post reports. The 79-year-old was found dead at a luxury ranch in West Texas on Saturday (Feb. 13).
Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday on an alleged hunting trip. Police reported when Scalia did not arrive with his friends for breakfast, an employee went to his room and found him unresponsive.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement confirming Scalia’s death. He sent prayers to his family and called the justice a “patriot” and an “unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law.”
Actress and Fox News contributor Stacey Dash also paid her respects.
Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, making him the longest-serving current Justice on the Supreme Court and the first Italian American to hold the seat. Scalia met controversy during his time on the court, particularly about his comments on African-American students, claiming they should attend “slower” colleges during an affirmative action case heard earlier this year.
The Guardian reports Scalia’s written rulings drew a divide among liberals and conservatives, such as the choice to dissent Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
With President Barack Obama facing his final year in office, critics have wondered who he will nominate to replace the late justice.
Sadly, nominee chatter has overthrown the shock of Scalia’s death, but it looks like it’s politics as usual.