Scalia physician: Nothing dubious about late-Justice’s death

Amid suspicion Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was unnatural, Presidio County District Attorney Ron Ponton has explained the decision not to conduct a postmortem examination to the Associated Press.

Justice Scalia, 79, died on February 13 while on a hunting excursion in Texas.

Ponton cited a letter from Scalia’s physician, Rear Admiral Brian P. Monahan, who is the attending physician for members of the Supreme Court and members of Congress.

Although Ponton did not release the correspondence from Admiral Monahan, Monahan’s letter was sent to Texas Judge Cinderela Guevara, who certified Scalia’s death by phone.  The Texas Department of State Health Services has not issued Scalia’s death certificate.

Dated February 16, Monahan’s letter cited “significant medical conditions led to (Scalia’s) death.”

Scalia, a known cigar smoker, suffered from coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, degenerative joint disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and high blood pressure.

According to a Presidio County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Scalia was found lying on his back with three pillows behind his head.  One pillow had collapsed over, partially obscuring Scalia’s forehead, but not obstructing the ability to breathe.

The report specifically adduced Justice Scalia’s breathing device for his sleep apnea condition was on a nightstand, but was neither assembled to operate nor connected to an electrical outlet.

Additionally, it was recorded the bed sheets were undisturbed and the room appeared in order, indicating nothing suspicious had occurred.


Case closed.

Let’s specify up front:  It is not out of the ordinary for a 79-year-old cigar smoker suffering from a seemingly endless string of health afflictions to pass away peacefully in his sleep while away from his home.

This, however, will not hinder innumerable flakes from conjuring up crackpot theories darkly hinting some sinister cabal dispatched the late jurist.

One cannot peruse a bookstore without stumbling across an untold sum of books insinuating the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, William Colby, Martin Luther King Jr., Vince Foster, ad infinitum, ad nauseam were the result of profound and extended conspiracies of which the schemers have successfully eluded criminal inquiries while their dupes took the fall.

Some lamebrain assumptions inspire full-length Hollywood films:  The Oliver Stone howler, JFK (1991), was prompted by Jim Garrison’s delusional obsession John F. Kennedy was murdered by the CIA to prevent the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Viet-Nam.

Garrison served in the U.S. Army, but was invalided out when an army physician determined him to suffer from severe and disabling psychoneurosis which impeded his social and professional functions significantly.

Garrison’s mental indispositions did not discourage him from running for and achieving public office. An oblivious public voted for the deeply misguided amateur sleuth, where he spent the rest of his career preoccupied with his adolescent fantasy Kennedy was murdered by a conspiracy led by an eccentric, cross-dressing New Orleans businessman, Clay Shaw.

Such crank suppositions only diminish the contributions created by targets and are written to enrich theorists while advancing flummery to an enfeebled audience.

Allow Justice Scalia to rest in peace with his legacy intact.


[AP] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy]