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Antonin Scalia Biography: Supreme Court Justice is Dead at 79

Photo of Antonin Scalia in judicial robes, in front of a flag, smiling at the camera

An official photo of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, taken in 2013.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died at age 79. The brainy, feisty and flamboyant judge was found dead in his room at a resort in West Texas on Saturday morning

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.

Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

The San Antonio Express-News published this photo of a hearse at the entrance to the Cibolo Creek Ranch today. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement that pretty much says it all about Antonin Scalia’s reputation among political conservatives:

“Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans. We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law.”

Given that Democratic President Barack Obama will nominate the next judge to replace Scalia, the chances are that Gov. Abbott will get a champion of the Constitution, but not necessarily one he agrees with.

Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz has already suggested on Twitter that the Senate should “ensure” that Obama’s successor should name Scalia’s replacement. The Senate has stalled other Obama judicial appointees for months and years, but it would be highly unusual that they would stall a Supreme Court nominee for a year just to prevent a president from making his legal appointment.  Reddit already has a lively thread of speculation going on this front.

Photo of Antonin Scalia

Carrie Devorah / WENN

Just last month, The New York Times said (with tongue somewhat in cheek) that Antonin Scalia had the highest sarcasm index on the court.

See our full Antonin Scalia biography »

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  • chucksawyer

    Judge Scalia was murdered ! The ‘hit man’ was not far from the President. How can we, as a nation, allow this to happen.The President was Obama and his hit man was a tall skinny man from
    Texas or Oklahoma. Not unlike President Kennedy, murdered before any autopsy could be performed…..state LAW of TEXAS ! Our Lord is watching you all !! R.I.P. ANTHONY !!

    o