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The Passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Our prayers and thoughts are with the family of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who was found dead today in San Antonio. The death appears to be of natural causes, Scalia was 79 years old. This news will have a direct impact on the presidential election since the next president will likely be tasked with appointing a Supreme Court Justice. Look for this topic to get a lot of attention tonight at the Republican debate later this evening.

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Report from MySanAntonio:

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, of the Western Judicial District of Texas, was notified about the death from the U.S. Marshals Service.

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.”

Scalia was a conservative stalwart on the bench, often coming down to the right of Chief Justice John Roberts on issues such as the Obamacare decision. Please keep your comments respectful as we reflect on this breaking news.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (24)

  • It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will it be more than 24 hours before a replacement is announced? Will Obama REALLY try install a far left Judge? I would argue it wouldn't be in his best interest

  • Twenty-nine Supreme Court nominations have been rejected. My guess is that the Court will only have eight members until next year.

    However, of course, for the rest of the term, Conservatives will not have their automatic 5-4 majority.

    Major issues at hand this year are as follows:

    Evenwel v. Abbott (One Person, One Vote)

    Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Affirmative Action)

    Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (Public Union Dues)

    Whole Women’s Health v. Cole (Abortion)

    Zubik vs. Burwell (Obamacare)

  • Just to be clear, the president has the right to appoint a replacement, AND the Senate has the right to reject an appointment. However, that's not "normal."

    Cruz lies to say that we have a policy, or even a practice, of not letting a president appoint during a presidential year. Over the last half-century:

    1988--Anthony Kennedy (Bush)
    1972--William Rehnquest (Nixon)
    1972--Lewis Powell (Nixon)
    1956--John Harlan (IKE)

    It is true that the Senate refused to let Johnson appoint his two nominees--Abe Fortas and Arthur Goldberg--in 1968. But there were no other election-year rejections in the last half-century, and no one else died or resigned in an election year.

  • This is a game changer... almost as big a deal as North Korea's satellite program! Obama should try to get his nominees through while he can... the process must solve the issue! "It was you Fredo, you broke my heart. You broke my heart!"

  • Republicans, as usual, are looking petulant and petty. The president has the right to nominate a replacement, and the Senate can say, "Oh, no, we don't like his/her views of the Constitution." That's fair.

    You can strike someone down because you don't like a nominee's views. You cannot strike someone down because you don't like a president's name.

    • No more 5 to 4 judicial activism... it is the luck of the draw for that now... this is the best thing to happen to the court in years Antonin Scalia was a carbunkle on the justice system... now if only Justice Thomas the do nothing drown without a lick of sense or an independent legal opinion would find another pubic hair in his cola again & choke on it this time... well that would send the sleazy John Birching Koch Brothers out of their everloving puppet master minds! At the very least now we can't have a repeat of the illegal fiasco of 2000 that selected W over Gore. Jeb delivered then with his own October surprise the hanging chads of Florida... BORK! ANY ONE REMEMBER ROBERT BORK!

  • Over the past 40 years, we've had 14 justices confirmed.

    It took an average of 67 days to confirm them. (Obama has 300 days left.)

    The quickest was Republican Jerry Ford with a majority-60 Democratic Senate.
    His choice was confirmed--unanimously--in 19 days.

    • Uh, Ford was confirmed as V.P., not a justice, & at a time when the President was in danger of impeachment & there was no Vice President.

      • Sorry if that was unclear. The fastest Supreme Court confirmation in the last 50 years was when Republican President Gerald R. Ford nominated John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court in 1975, and the Democrats, who had a 60-member majority, approved the nomination in 19 days.

        • Goethe is correct.. Scalia actually recommended, when asked by Pres. Ford, that it should take no longer than 60 days to elect a replacement SC justice. The Scalia rule is what Pres. Ford followed.

    • Who do you hate Hillary or is it really the black man in the White House? This post is about the originalist Antonin Scalia & how he is going to be replaced...

  • Scalia's body was still warm, when Obama --- the Kenyan-born usurper of our White House --- started rubbing his hands seeing his perfect and final chance to destroy the US Constitution, and the nation he hates most --- the USA --- by getting another liberal scum "judge" of his choice to pollute the Supreme Court to this end!

    Message to Obama --- in a year you'll no longer be protected as president, but, as a private person will be sued until you go to jail for life, where you belong for falsely occupying the presidency with a fake birth certificate.

    Justice may be slow --- but, it will eventually prevail.

    Dear, Barrack Hussein Obama --- you won't be remembered as the first black president, but as the first one that got put in Jail.

    • Don't hold back on how you hate the President of the United States because of the color of his skin... but I thought you hate Hillary & she's got to go to jail for her crimes... who's going to jail first? Maybe Cruz should bow out now before his fake birth certificate becomes an issue? Regardless the Constitutional Originalist Antonin Scalia that Ronald Reagan appointed died & there is no coming back from that... judicial activism will be curtailed by the centrist that Obama will apoint, this is no liberal plot it is just bad luck for the GOP! Game over Koch brothers! You loose... BORK BORK BORK!

      • Another brain-dead liberal.

        When stating that Ben Carson is a Real American Patriot --- your ilk is silent. But, pointing out that Obama is a wannabe Destroyer of the US Constitution, and posted a fake birth certificate on line (never, ever showed his REAL ONE FOR ALL TO SEE) --- then, your liberal ilk, unable to dispute such overwhelming evidence, resorts to playing the race card, since your disfunctioning brains are left clutching at straws only.

        What a sad little racist you are....

        • That is the most racist rhetoric you could have come up with... my ilk? Ben Carson is no patriot my friend. He has no personal charisma & seems brain dead most of the time in the "debates" thus far... this post is still about Antonin Scalia & how the centrist sitting President of the United States is going to enact his Constitutional right to nominate... it's all up to the Robot & the Canadien now to suspend their campaigns, go back to work in Washington & do God's work. Stick with the Hilary bashing its more effective & your better than sinking to this race card baiting. Or we could go totaly off topic & retry the OJ Simpson case if you prefer!

          • You are the one who played the 'race card' --- and if you pollute
            this forum again with you liberal dead dogma, you'll be called on it.

            p.s. Little Hussein has Zero chance of getting one of his own apparatchiks to replace the Great Scalia!

          • Scalia is in the ground & he was a judicial activists... you edited your inapropret post! Stick to the barking, coughing Hilary hating echo chamber dogma that your puppet masters allow you to spue & you are getting payed for... The centrist President is going to get his nominee onto the Supreme Court you might not like it but that does not make me a liberal or a racist... Rubio & Cruz are not doing their jobs in the Senate & as far as I can remember it has been a conservative value to work hard for the people that got you elected! Save the GOP run for office yourself next time but for now RIP Antonin Scalia.

          • Anyone who states that Socialist Obama is a centrist, is a brain-dead liberal.

            I did not edit my post --- the other liberal punk, Goethe who plays at "moderator" here, censors posts in order to keep liberal numskulls such as you protected.

            p.s. Learn English... and your paid shilling for socialists may have a chance of not sounding idiotic.

          • Time to end this Koch bother's apparatchik... time to moveon.org... since anyone that has a different opinion is a brainstorming dead liberal. President Obama just needs to follow the Scalia rule to replace the 5th in the court. What are Rubio & Cruz doing to protect your puppet master's interests? Nothing cause they are too ambitious for the limelight.
            Ps. Hillary's not going to jail she's going to work for Donald Trump as Secretary of state... again!

          • Why you are a brain-dead liberal:

            1) Stating that Socialist Obama is centrist.

            2) "Hillary's not going to jail she's going to work for Donald Trump as Secretary of state... again!"

            WOW --- pure idiocy, on your part.

            Your irrational ilk belongs in Insane Asylums, not on polluting this forum with lunacy.

            p.s. Your pal Obama, once out of office, will go to jail, sharing a cell with Hillary --- the other Criminal.

          • There's my pal the Hillary hater back on track... as for the rich & powerful paying for their crimes it hasn't happened yet & I don't see any of the elights getting theirs on the left or the right... no matter who is in office. Unlesss you will run in 2020 & make America great again, again! Think about it...

          • Try posting when sober.

            Not that it will make much difference --- anyone who claims that socialist Obama is a "centrist", is just another brain-dead liberal.

            You are the one that played the 'race card' --- and if you pollute this forum again with you liberal dead dogma, you'll be called on it.

            p.s. Little Hussein has Zero chance of getting one of his own apparatchiks to replace the Great Scalia. Stick that into your America-hating crotch.

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