WASHINGTON (AP) – Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died. He was 79.
The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia’s 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.
Reaction to his death follows:
SENATOR ROB PORTMAN:
SENATOR SHERROD BROWN:
“As the longest serving justice, Justice Scalia dedicated three decades to the Court and we recognize his service. Connie and I send our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and their family.”
SENATOR PAT TOOMEY:
“Today, America has lost a great public servant. Justice Antonin Scalia was a true patriot, serving on the U.S. Supreme Court for three decades. He was a tireless defender of the U.S. Constitution and a principled conservative who brought both tremendous intellect and wit to our nation’s highest court. Kris and I mourn Justice Scalia’s passing, and our prayers are with his family.”
CONGRESSMAN BILL JOHNSON:
“The death of Justice Antonin Scalia is a tremendous loss for our nation. Justice Scalia was a strong and articulate defender of the Constitution in the face of advancing judicial activism. I offer my deepest condolences to his family, and pray that his successor shares Justice Scalia’s same deeply held respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.”
CONGRESSMAN TIM RYAN:
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND BUSINESSMAN DONALD TRUMP:
“Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time. His career was defined by his reverence for the Constitution and his legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms. He was a Justice who did not believe in legislating from the bench and he is a person whom I held in the highest regard and will always greatly respect his intelligence and conviction to uphold the Constitution of our country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS:
“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.”
SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS:
“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.”
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
“Laura and I mourn the death of a brilliant jurist and important American, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a towering figure and important judge on our Nation’s highest court. He brought intellect, good judgment, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country.”
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL:
“Today our country lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as Americans. Justice Scalia’s fidelity to the Constitution was rivaled only by the love of his family: his wife Maureen his nine children, and his many grandchildren. Through the sheer force of his intellect and his legendary wit, this giant of American jurisprudence almost singlehandedly revived an approach to constitutional interpretation that prioritized the text and original meaning? of the Constitution. Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Scalia family.
“The American people? should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
SENATE MINORITY LEADER HARRY REID:
“There is no doubt Justice Antonin Scalia was a brilliant man. We had our differences and I disagreed with many of his opinions, but he was a dedicated jurist and public servant. I offer my condolences to his family.
“The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away. With so many important issues pending before the Supreme Court, the Senate has a responsibility to fill vacancies as soon as possible. It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat. Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”
TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT:
“Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans.”
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