We have lost a great man and a great Justice.
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.
Justice Scalia leaves behind 28 grandchildren:
Politics aside, we should all die full of years, with 28 grandchildren, in our sleep after quail hunting. Antonin Scalia RIP.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) February 13, 2016
A selection of our prior posts about Justice Scalia (apart from dozens of posts about Supreme Court rulings):
- Justice Scalia sounds like a Legal Insurrectionist
- Scalia Was Right About Releasing Gitmo Detainees
- Nino Wows Them
Scalia always was the Happy Jurist, and Warrior.
This CBS interview was excellent:
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) February 13, 2016
From his Dissent in the same-sex marraige case:
The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrange- ments it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, from tax treatment to rights of inheritance. Those civil consequences—and the public approval that conferring the name of marriage evidences—can perhaps have adverse social effects, but no more adverse than the effects of many other controversial laws. So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court…..
It is one thing for separate con- curring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so.22 Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spiritu- ality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie…..
Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall. The Judiciary is the “least dangerous” of the federal branches because it has “neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm” and the States, “even for the efficacy of its judgments.” With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.
And King v. Burwell (Obamacare II)
[T]he plain, obvious, and rational meaning of a statute is always to be preferred to any curious, narrow, hidden sense that nothing but the exigency of a hard case and the ingenuity and study of an acute and powerful intellect would discover.” Lynch v. Alworth-Stephens Co., 267 U. S. 364, 370 (1925)…Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved…
…The somersaults of statutory interpretation [this Court has] performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence. And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites….
We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.
For all these reasons, to say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling. Taxes have never been popular, see, e.g., Stamp Act of 765, and in part for that reason, the Constitution requires tax increases to originate in the House of Representatives. See Art. I, §7, cl. 1. That is to say, they must originate in the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off. The Federalist No. 58 “defend[ed] the decision to give the origination power to the House on the ground that the Chamber that is more accountable to the people should have the primary role in raising revenue.” United States v. Munoz-Flores, 495 U. S. 385, 395 (1990). We have no doubt that Congress knew precisely what it was doing when it rejected an earlier version of this legislation that imposed a tax instead of a requirement-with-penalty. See Affordable Health Care for America Act, H. R. 3962, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §501 (2009); America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009, S. 1796, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §1301. Imposing a tax through judicial legislation inverts the constitutional scheme, and places the power to tax in the branch of government least accountable to the citizenry.
To say that the political implications are enormous is an understatement:
Senate Republicans likely to resist confirming any Obama nominee to succeed the late Justice Scalia, leaving appointment to next president.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 13, 2016
Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 13, 2016
People have been saying the GOP needs to pick a hill to die on. Seems to me this is it. Next president should decide.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) February 13, 2016
An empty SCOTUS seat has never been filled in a lame duck year, starting all the way back to John Q Adams. https://t.co/56GxTHXqfL
— Nathanael Yowell (@ndgc12dx) February 13, 2016
Majority Leader McConnell says wait until the NEXT president:
Full statement from Senate Majority Leader McConnell on Scalia: pic.twitter.com/27VmyVMOy4
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) February 13, 2016
Dems demand vote… https://t.co/Hj789zcgoH
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) February 13, 2016
Says the guy who invoked the nuclear option so Obama could pack the lower courts https://t.co/zv8RwRy8RT
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) February 13, 2016
Reid: Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of..the Senate's most essential Constitutional responsibilities #Scalia
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 13, 2016
Very sad that Scalia has passed. Look for Obama to make a recess appointment and the a future President to pick a new Justice.
— Jim Angle (@JimAngleFox) February 13, 2016
GOP worries Obama could replace Scalia through recess appointment. It's happened 12 times before. https://t.co/eIUKG8UJo4
— Joel Gehrke (@Joelmentum) February 14, 2016
Asked about potential recess appointment to replace Scalia now, Lindsey Graham suggests Senate might not recess if needed to block Obama nom
— Rebecca Berg (@rebeccagberg) February 14, 2016
Eisenhower nominated Justice Wm Brennan to #SCOTUS under a recess appointment in 1956.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 14, 2016
Jon Turley on Fox now, being an honest broker: says Obama could make a recess appointment to SCOTUS, but it would rip apart the Republic.
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) February 14, 2016
There are enormous implications for pending cases in which Scalia’s vote would have been critical:
In case you were wondering: When the Court divides 4-4 the lower court opinion is affirmed without creating any Supreme Court precedent
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) February 13, 2016
Reactions are quickly rolling in.
WH now says Pres Obama has been informed of Scalia's death. He and FLOTUS offer deepest condolences to Scalia's family.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 13, 2016
Statement from Chief Justice John Roberts on Scalia pic.twitter.com/9XznZiBccK
— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) February 13, 2016
Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history – Justice Antonin Scalia https://t.co/8ESSQHU1VY
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) 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
MARCO RUBIO says the “next president” should nominate Scalia’s successor. pic.twitter.com/30w9Gg0qaX
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 13, 2016
Pres. George W. Bush on Scalia: “He was a a towering figure and important judge on our Nation's highest court." pic.twitter.com/RUwPvVTdSk
— ABC News (@ABC) February 13, 2016
Justice Scalia will forever be remembered as one of the great defenders of the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/tqAtQVhzhd
— House Judiciary Cmte (@HouseJudiciary) February 13, 2016
TED CRUZ statement on Scalia's death: He "single-handedly changed the course of legal history." pic.twitter.com/y65QyX7Q7L
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 13, 2016
1953: Antonin Scalia graduation photo from Jesuit Xavier High School in Manhattan. He graduated first in his class. pic.twitter.com/wLVdqRhd4L
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 13, 2016