Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice, Dies at 79
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.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. on the death of Antonin Scalia: "He was an extraordinary individual." pic.twitter.com/8xwSZDrKe3— ABC News (@ABC) February 13, 2016
Donald Trump statement on the death of Justice Scalia: “A remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice" pic.twitter.com/j4e9d9v0ln— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) February 13, 2016
The totally unexpected loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a massive setback for the Conservative movement and our COUNTRY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2016
Pres. George W. Bush on Justice Scalia: “A towering figure and important judge on our Nation's highest court" pic.twitter.com/VQy22Zda9y— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) February 13, 2016
So sorry to hear about the death of Justice Scalia, he was my date to the WHCD last year & was charming & engaging pic.twitter.com/qS6fHrnUNh— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) February 13, 2016
Justice Scalia Found Dead at a Resort in Texas. R.I.P.— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) February 13, 2016
Before the body is cold, Republicans demand Obama not be President for the next 11 and 1/4 year & just let the Court remain paralyzed at 4-4— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) February 13, 2016
Republicans — why not let the man's family have a day of peace and respect? You act as if a "number" died and not a human being.— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) February 13, 2016
WH: "This afternoon the President was informed of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia." pic.twitter.com/RN1aeFxaNf— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 13, 2016