Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice, Dies at 79

Antonin Scalia

Scalia reportedly died in his sleep.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died. He was 79.

The U.S. Marshal's Service in Washington confirmed his death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of South Texas.

The service's spokeswoman, Donna Sellers, says Scalia had retired for the evening and was found dead Saturday morning when he did not appear for breakfast.

Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right and to get it to embrace his "originalist" view of judging after his 1986 appointment by President Ronald Reagan.

His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights was his crowning moment in more than 30 years on the bench.

Scalia was a strong advocate for privacy in favoring restrictions on police searches and protections for defendants' rights. But he also voted consistently to let states outlaw abortions, to allow a closer relationship between government and religion, to permit executions and to limit lawsuits.

His impact on the court was muted by his seeming disregard for moderating his views to help build consensus.

Following the news of Scalia's passing, The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper told The Hollywood Reporter, "It was a huge shock. ... My initial thought was, 'Oh, already people are fighting over inaction and pleading for inaction for the next year, which is depressing. But I hope maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and people can actually work together to replace him. That might be a big ask."

Sen. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) also echoed Klepper's sentiments, telling THR, "My heart goes out to his family. Obviously they've lost a dad, or grandfather. That's what I'm thinking about right now — his family."

Actress Dana Delany noted Scalia's death "makes it one motherf---er of an election."

Reactions from Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Chief Justice John G. Roberts and more are below. 

Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history — Justice Antonin Scalia. A champion of our...

Posted by Ted Cruz on Saturday, February 13, 2016
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