R.I.P. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 1936 – 2016

posted at 6:01 pm on February 13, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Terrible news out of Texas this afternoon. At the age of 79, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been confirmed as having been found dead at a ranch where he was a guest.

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, of the Western Judicial District of Texas, was notified about the death from the U.S. Marshals Service.

The author of the Heller decision among so many, many others, will be missed. Appointed by Reagan in September of 1986, he built a reputation as the conservative’s conservative and a strict, fierce defender of the Constitution. He was also the first person of Italian descent to hold the post. He was famous among those who got to know him for having a raucous sense of humor and being a loyal friend to people from all walks of life.

One of the first of our presidential candidates to comment on his passing was Ted Cruz, who had dealt with him across the bench personally.

“Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history – Justice Antonin Scalia. 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.

“As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism.

Unfortunately, while the mourning and remembrances will go on for some time, Scalia’s passing will throw a serious curve into an already convoluted presidential election year. It’s a fairly safe bet that after a suitable period of mourning, President Obama will move to nominate a replacement. It’s also an almost near certainty that the nominee in question will not get a hearing while Barack Obama is still in office. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley respectively have the final say as to whether any vote on the floor takes place. While there will be massive pressure from the Left for them to do so, I’m sure McConnell knows the sort of revolt which would follow were he to schedule such a vote.

Swinging back to Cruz for a moment, he tweeted out a sentiment along the same lines while I was writing this.

It’s sad that his passing will turn into such a food fight but I don’t see it as avoidable. In the meantime, we can all look back on several decades of work well done by Antonin Scalia. If you want to walk down memory lane, he leaves a variety of compelling books, though none as important as the body of decisions he wrote.

UPDATE: Statement from Rubio.

“Today, our nation has suffered a deep loss. Justice Scalia was one of the most consequential Americans in our history and a brilliant legal mind who served with only one objective: to interpret and defend the Constitution as written. One of the greatest honors in my life was to attend oral arguments during Town of Greece v. Galloway and see Justice Scalia eloquently defend religious freedom. I will hold that memory forever. The next president must nominate a justice who will continue Justice Scalia’s unwavering belief in the founding principles that we hold dear. Jeanette and I mourn the loss of Justice Scalia, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and his family.”

UPDATE: Trump statement.

“I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the Scalia family after the passing of Justice Scalia,” Trump said in a later statement. “Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time. His careerwas defined by his reverence for the Constitution and his legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms.”

“He was a Justice who did not believe in legislating from the bench and he is a person whom I held in the highest regard and will always greatly respect his intelligence and conviction to uphold the Constitution of our country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”

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Comment pages: 1 8 9 10

One more Kagan or Satomayor and it won’t matter who wins the presidency.

MaiDee on February 14, 2016 at 12:26 PM

RIP, Your Honor. The Constitution is officially dead.

BetseyRoss on February 14, 2016 at 12:31 PM

MaiDee on February 14, 2016 at 12:25 PM

Seriously, look how often we get our azzes handed to us with a 5/4 “conservative” bench.

Cindy Munford on February 14, 2016 at 1:20 PM

If a republican president was in office the dems would block any appointment. They would be screaming to the rafters.

Look what they have done in the past!

dogsoldier on February 14, 2016 at 1:22 PM

I really abhor the left, especially the internationalist left. I was watching Fareed Zakaria and he gave his definition of American Exceptionalism. It was all multicultural and diversity and that we’re not really a nation like others…blah blah.

Now this is only partially true but it is a result of American Exceptionalism not the definition of it.

My definition of American Exceptionalism is that we were founded on an idea, rather than the fact of who lived inside our borders, and the idea is that our rights are given us by a higher power not by government. And government’s duty is to protect those rights.

But our Constitution also gave the people, us, the power to decide who can become citizens (through Congress). We only allow others to come in that we agree to. Which is contrary, really, to what Zakaria said.

But further it was our freedoms, especially from government, that allowed us to become rich and powerful and it was those freedoms and thus the opportunity to better ourselves that has attracted people from all over the world to our shores.

So as I said, diversity is a result of our exceptionalism, not the cause.

MaggiePoo on February 14, 2016 at 1:24 PM

I wonder what diverse nominee The Won will nominate and what kind of “ist” Republicans will be this time?

Cindy Munford on February 14, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Cindy Munford

True but if Obama is allowed to make another appointment (and with these GOP RINOS anything is possible)it means, instead of losing 60% of the time, LOSING 100% OF THE TIME and for years and years.

Of course a Hillary victory (don’t laugh it is still highly possible) will lead to the same dreadful result.

MaiDee on February 14, 2016 at 1:51 PM

MaiDee on February 14, 2016 at 1:51 PM

No chance of me laughing, we have been FUBAR for a loonngg time.

Cindy Munford on February 14, 2016 at 2:06 PM

Dems Fundraise Off Scalia Death

Jason58 on February 14, 2016 at 2:29 PM

Forgive me for not reading all the previous posts, but has anyone asked whether Scalia, RIP, could have been murdered?
I’m asking because of the circumstances of his death (sudden, alone, found dead), and because he would have been the perfect Justice and the perfect time for the Left to eliminate him?

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:32 PM

I’m asking because of the circumstances of his death (sudden, alone, found dead), and because he would have been the perfect Justice and the perfect time for the Left to eliminate him?

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:32 PM

BREAKING:

DoJ claims insufficient resources to fully investigate, re-assigns agents on the Clinton email investigation to the Scalia case; closes email investigation.

BobMbx on February 14, 2016 at 2:35 PM

BobMbx on February 14, 2016 at 2:35 PM

You know, Bob, it’s sad commentary on the state of the nation and/or my mind , that I went over to Drudge to be sure, that that was not real.

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:38 PM

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Agree

Jason58 on February 14, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Sorry, I have one more question, that was probably already axed, but could Obama do a recess appointment for a Supreme Court justice?

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Because, if he can, then we are, um, what’s the phrase I’m looking for?
Ah yes… totally phuqued.

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Sorry, I have one more question, that was probably already axed, but could Obama do a recess appointment for a Supreme Court justice?

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:51 PM

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/226701/

darwin on February 14, 2016 at 3:02 PM

Does anyone besides me feel like Obama is going Michael Corleone on us here, taking care of all the family business?

BobMbx on February 14, 2016 at 3:13 PM

At a conference within the last year, I had the opportunity to attend a Federalist Society meeting where Justice Scalia was the keynote speaker. He is absolutely a Constitutionalist and was quite concerned about the lack of Constitutional knowledge law students get today in our nation’s law schools.

He was always clear, concise and if warranted, humorous. I have rarely felt the sadness I feel now – I know much about the US Founding. Losing Justice Scalia is very difficult to accept. I am quite concerned for our nation.

God Bless Justice Scalia, his family and all who truly understand what a gem of a nation we have in the USA. He will be missed!

MN J on February 14, 2016 at 3:38 PM

darwin on February 14, 2016 at 3:02 PM

Thanks, darwin. From that, it looks like Obama has the power to make a recess appointment until February 22.

Obama is going to do it! He’s going to think that getting a majority on the Court is going to far outweigh any flack that occurs, even the loss of the WH (which he probably believes is a lost cause anyway.It looks like the only thing that could block it would be for the Senate to come back in emergency session, and thus block a recess appointment, but the Senate Minority leader (Reid)has to agree to come back in session, which, of course, he won’t.

McConnell or someone on the Republican side made a major screw-up in making this possible.

Very coincidental that Scalia dies during this window of opportunity, eh?

Does anyone besides me feel like Obama is going Michael Corleone on us here, taking care of all the family business?

BobMbx on February 14, 2016 at 3:13 PM

Yes,although Obama is more like a Fredo, but with mad skillz.

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 3:48 PM

Who do you want to pick the next justice? The guy who decided a couple years ago he was no longer a liberal and hasn’t a clue about the Constitution, or the guy who has literally lived and breathed the Constitution since he was a teenager? The choice is easy if you put down the koolaid for a while.

WordsMatter on February 14, 2016 at 4:01 PM

Cruz 2016.

justltl on February 14, 2016 at 4:11 PM

Who do you want to pick the next justice? The guy who decided a couple years ago he was no longer a liberal and hasn’t a clue about the Constitution, or the guy who has literally lived and breathed the Constitution since he was a teenager? The choice is easy if you put down the koolaid for a while.

WordsMatter on February 14, 2016 at 4:01 PM

It doesn’t matter.

There WILL be someone in place before the election.

BallisticBob on February 14, 2016 at 4:12 PM

For those freaking out about a recess appt–that would be a lot of political pain for an appt that only lasts until 2018. The appt expires with the term.

Grace_is_sufficient on February 14, 2016 at 4:14 PM

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
https://www.facebook.com/TheLCMS/photos/a.146764088579.113654.6058843579/10153590010698580/?type=3&theater
A STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT HARRISON ON THE DEATH OF JUSTICE SCALIA

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!” (Rom. 11:33).

We have received the news of the death of Justice Scalia with deep shock. On the moral issues, on which The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has taken a public stand (life, marriage and religious freedom), we and all creedal and biblically oriented Christians had no more stalwart friend on the Supreme Court than Justice Scalia. He articulated the voice of consistent rationality and unchanging natural law—the very voice and sentiment of the founders of this nation—in the face of progressivism on the court, which has left our nation morally depleted. Unfortunately the death of a great man is often a harbinger of worse things to come. Can the Supreme Court harm this nation even more than it has? Are 57 million abortions not enough? Unfortunately, we may well fall to even deeper depths of degradation.

Spare us, O God, from what we deserve, and give this nation leaders and justices who recognize the unchanging and rational truth of natural law, which accords with the Ten Commandments. And grant us justices and leaders who recognize, as did our founders, the great benefit of a religious citizenry for the well-being of all. Amen.

Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
St. Louis, Missouri

OmahaConservative on February 14, 2016 at 4:18 PM

One more Kagan or Satomayor and it won’t matter who wins the presidency.

MaiDee on February 14, 2016 at 12:25 PM

that’s the sad truth

I was worried enough about this election, but it turns out that may be moot when McCain, Lindsey, Ayotte, etc all cave and give our fascist dictator whatever he wants– this will permanently alter the composition of the court irreparably even if we manage to win in 2016

thurman on February 14, 2016 at 4:27 PM

Word is no autopsy. What is it with our government? What is with our Party’s leadership? I’m not a conspiracy nut, but that’s just insane. We will never hear the end of this–ever!

SaintV on February 14, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Scalia’s body was being embalmed and there would be no autopsy.

http://wapo.st/1TjJ9FE?tid=ss_tw

Jason58 on February 14, 2016 at 4:40 PM

Elections have consequences. Thanks to all the people that stayed home and refused to vote for Romney.
NOW LOOK AT THE PREDICAMENT WE ARE IN!

redridinghood on February 14, 2016 at 4:44 PM

I’m shocked to hear this, ugh!
——————————-

ANTONIN SCALIA DIES
11m
Report: No autopsy to be performed on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, source says; decision for no autopsy was made both by family and Texas Justice of the Peace, source also says – CNN
read more on http://www.cnn.com
===========================

https://www.google.ca/search?q=report%3a+no+autopsy+to+be+performed+on+supreme+court+justice+antonin+scalia%2c+source+says%3b+decision+for+no+autopsy+was+made+both+by+family+and+texas+justice+of+the+peace&oq=report%3a+no+autopsy+to+be+performed+on+supreme+court+justice+antonin+scalia%2c+source+says%3b+decision+for+no+autopsy+was+made+both+by+family+and+texas+justice+of+the+peace&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58.2322j0j8&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=utf-8#q=+no+autopsy+to+be+performed+on+supreme+court+justice+antonin+scalia

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 4:47 PM

Horrible shock. Getting to hear him give a lecture in person (2004 in Irvine, CA) was a highlight of my life.

RIP, patriot …

ShainS on February 14, 2016 at 4:48 PM

It doesn’t matter.

There WILL be someone in place before the election.

BallisticBob on February 14, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Seriously, what is it with my fellow conservatives and the constant Eeyoring all over everything? It’s like nothing can EVER change. Do you folks ever read history?

I am not a Trump fan but what do you think McConnell and co are reading from the tea leaves? That we’re just as pleased as punch with the DC elites?

I think not. I think they might just know that if they cave on THIS–the one line they HAVE to hold–the tar and feathers WILL come out (figuratively). The will lose the Senate. Heck, they might lose the House.

Grace_is_sufficient on February 14, 2016 at 4:49 PM

It will take days to find out.

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 4:56 PM

It will take days to find out.

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 4:56 PM

How will they find out if there’s no autopsy?

BallisticBob on February 14, 2016 at 5:03 PM

ANTONIN SCALIA DIES
1m
White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz on Supreme Court nomination timing: ‘Given that the Senate is currently in recess, we don’t expect the president to rush this through this week’ – @swheaton
see original on twitter.com
=============================

Sarah Wheaton [email protected] 10m10 minutes ago
.@Schultz44 on SCOTUS nom timing: “Given that the Sen. is currently in recess, we don’t expect the President to rush this through this week”
============================

https://twitter.com/swheaton

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 5:05 PM

Grace_is_sufficient on February 14, 2016 at 4:49 PM

So what if it’s this guy?

Sri Srinivasan, age forty-seven, D.C. Circuit. As I’ve noted before, Srinivasan is the front-runner. Like Sotomayor, Srinivasan has a great (and marketable) American story. The child of immigrants from India, Srinivasan grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, earned a J.D./M.B.A. from Stanford, and clerked for a pair of Republican judges, J. Harvie Wilkinson III and Sandra Day O’Connor. As Obama’s deputy solicitor general, he argued twenty-five cases before the high court and then won confirmation to the D.C. Circuit last year by a vote of 97–0. Even in the malignant political atmosphere of the contemporary Senate, that margin might make him a safe pick for the Supreme Court. Would Obama nominate a man to replace Ginsburg, and reduce the number of women on the Court to two? Making history with the first Indian-American Justice might tempt him.

That 97-0 included Cruz, Rubio and McConnell.

BallisticBob on February 14, 2016 at 5:10 PM

How ironic that Obama finally looks to the Constitution. But he’s quite correct that the Senate should consider his nominees. And as soon as a nominee appears before them who honors the Constitution and the founder’s intentions as deeply as did Justice Scalia, I’m sure the Senate will confirm. In 2017.

SRQ on February 14, 2016 at 5:41 PM

I’m sure McConnell knows the sort of revolt which would follow were he to schedule such a vote.

As if it will matter.

RIP Justice Scalia. Justice in this world would have seen you elevated to Chief Justice, instead of bringing in Roberts.

I foresee Roberts not letting any 4-4 decisions go down in the remainder of this term. He will throw his weight behind the “status quo” (that’s big gov’t) approach on every issue to prevent any “inconclusive” results.

GWB on February 14, 2016 at 6:00 PM

RIP Justice Scalia. Justice in this world would have seen you elevated to Chief Justice, instead of bringing in Roberts.

GWB on February 14, 2016 at 6:00 PM

So true. What a travesty …

ShainS on February 14, 2016 at 6:43 PM

Sorry, I have one more question, that was probably already axed, but could Obama do a recess appointment for a Supreme Court justice?
.
justltl on February 14, 2016 at 2:51 PM

.
http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/226701/
.
darwin on February 14, 2016 at 3:02 PM

.
Good presentation, at that link.

It’s almost as if they’re trying their damnedest to imply an assassination conspiracy, without actually implying one.

But that’s the sort of nonsense listens2glenn keeps spreading around here, daily … so don’t pay any attention to it, because it’s a complete waste of time.

Conspiracy theories … pfffft

listens2glenn on February 14, 2016 at 7:31 PM

Then and Now

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 10:44 PM

Found with a pillow over his head and non-wrinkled pajamas. I have slept with a pillow over my head when it was noisy, very cold or light was flowing in, but never on my back.

claudius on February 14, 2016 at 11:51 PM

But that’s the sort of nonsense listens2glenn keeps spreading around here, daily … so don’t pay any attention to it, because it’s a complete waste of time.

Conspiracy theories … pfffft…

listens2glenn on February 14, 2016 at 7:31 PM

You’re not the only one who viewed his death with suspicion, Glenn. My first reaction upon hearing the news was, “Who killed him?” A large segment of people on the left hated Scalia, and likely rejoiced at the news of his death, so murder wasn’t out of the question.

Maybe his death was due to natural causes, but he died with a pillow over his head, and now there we’ll be no autopsy. So, we’ll never know.

Under those circumstances, I’d say it’s natural to be suspicious.

MsYoung on February 15, 2016 at 5:36 AM

Oops…typo: ‘we’ll’ in the second paragraph should have been ‘will’. I haven’t had my coffee yet…

MsYoung on February 15, 2016 at 5:41 AM

So no autopsy on one of the most important men in the US government. Pair this with the fact that there was a pillow found over his face…

No sign of struggle, everything nice and neat. Dressed, just laying on the bed with a pillow over his face. You would think they would want to find out the so called “natural cause” for certain.

watertown on February 15, 2016 at 6:09 AM

Maybe he had sleep apnea? Maybe that’s why the family is fine with no autopsy? I don’t know. But someone who has sleep apnea, should never put a pillow over their face.

SaintV on February 15, 2016 at 7:28 AM

Scalia was murdered by Obama’s peeps.

chuckh on February 15, 2016 at 11:52 AM

Comment pages: 1 8 9 10