SAN ANTONIO, TX – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead at a private residence in Texas on Saturday morning.
The conservative justice and Second Amendment advocate was said to be on a hunting trip at the Cibolo Creek Ranch where, according to the SCOTUSblog, he passed in his sleep.
“I am saddened to report that our colleague Antonin Scalia has passed away. He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.” ~ Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
Scalia’s career escalated during the 1980’s when then President Ronald Reagan looked favorably upon the jurist, appointing him first to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1982) and then nominating him as an Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986.
Serving for 29 years on the court, Scalia was known for his opposition to what he viewed as liberal agendas, writing and joining in conservative dissenting opinions on major contemporary issues from Obamacare to Same Sex Marriage and abortion.
Perhaps the most crucial dissent vote made by the sonorous Scalia came just days before his passing when he joined four of his colleagues in striking down the Clean Power Plan, a threat to the EPA’s carbon emissions reduction plan and a key factor in the success of the global Climate Change Treaty achieved in Paris in December.
The Court in a 5-4 vote stayed implementation of Federal guidelines imposing emissions standards for existing power plants in a plan aimed at reducing the country’s overall carbon footprint.
President Obama extended condolences to the Scalia family and is expected to issue a formal statement on Sunday.
Speculation has already begun on the chances of the Obama administration successfully passing a nominee to the court before the end of the President’s last term.
2016 presidential candidates weighed in on the news of Scalia’s death.
“While I differed with Justice Scalia’s views and jurisprudence, he was a brilliant, colorful and outspoken member of the Supreme Court. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his colleagues on the court who mourn his passing.” ~ Sen. Bernard “Bernie” Sanders, VT
GOP front-runner and real estate mogul, Donald Trump tweeted “The totally unexpected loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a massive set-back for the Conservative Movement and our country.”
Gov. John Kasich, in a written statement said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of Justice Scalia and send my prayers out for his family in this difficult time. His death is a serious loss to our nation and the Court.”
Kasich went on to say that Scalia was “an essential, principled force for conservative thought” and a model for others to follow.
Sen. Ted Cruz went so far as to call Scalia an American hero.