Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away

Update 2 – 2/14, 11:14 a.m. EST: President Obama announced on Saturday night that he will “fulfill (his) constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor [to Scalia] in due time. There will be plenty of time . . . for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”

 

Update – 7:34 p.m. EST: CNN’s Jake Tapper is reporting that President Obama intends to nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia

 

Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead on Saturday, Feb. 13 at a luxury resort in West Texas, he was 79.

Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was among those notified about Scalia’s death.

“I was told it was this morning,” Biery said of Scalia’s death. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he said. “My reaction is it’s very unfortunate. It’s unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we’re in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbot remembered Antonin Scalia fondly.

“He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution,” Abbott said. “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. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Scalia however was not free from controversy during his tenure on the court.

He frequently accused his more liberal justices of legislating from the bench, including during this past summer’s landmark gay marriage decision, which Scalia opposed.

“…To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation,” Scalia said at the time.

While often controversial, Scalia’s comments on homosexuality and same-sex marriage often drew the most fire.

“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd.’ If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things? … I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded,” Scalia said at Princeton in 2012.

There has been no reaction yet from the White House and no indication if Scalia’s place on the court will be filled before the end of President Obama’s term in January 2017.

 

[Washington Post] [My San Antonio]