Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a tart-tongued champion of conservative interpretation of the Constitution, has died at a West Texas ranch resort, government officials said Saturday.
“While our opinions on the law and jurisprudence were frequently at odds, he was steadfast and true to his beliefs during his tenure,” the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said in a statement. “My thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this time.”
The news was first reported by mysanantonio.com, which cited federal officials.
Scalia, who was 79, was the longest-serving justice on the high court. His death is sure to trigger a pitched political battle in Washington, with President Obama likely to nominate a successor before the November elections.
“Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement on his official website. “We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law.” (Oliver Knox/Yahoo News)