Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday at a luxury resort in West Texas.
“I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “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.”
Justice Scalia was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who served for 29 years, from 1986 until his death. As the longest-serving justice on the Court, Scalia became the Senior Associate Justice. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court’s conservative wing.
Justice Scalia was the first Italian-American to serve on the court. He was confirmed 98-0.
Scalia’s death sets up an election year confirmation battle between a lame-duck president and a Republican controlled Senate. In other words, don’t expect anything to get done.