Justice Antonin Scalia passes away suddenly

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Terrible news: Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, was found dead today in his hotel today in a Texas resort where he was attending a private party.


  • Willi Kusche

    Even more TERRIBLE if Cruz doesn’t get the nomination. If not, the Constitution will have to be laid to rest as Scalia will be.

  • Cotour

    Who breaks a tie in a four to four vote?

  • danae

    This circumstance was discussed a few minutes ago on FOX News. Apparently, in a 4 to 4 tie, the decision of the lower court is upheld.

  • Wayne DeVette

    Yes, a tragic loss.
    The Senate has absolute power in this matter (& the Republicans just confirmed a whacky Federal Judge a few weeks ago.) Obama can nominate whomever he wants but nothing happens until the Senate confirms or rejects.
    There can be 4-4 votes in SCOTUS, but there is no tie-breaker. What happens in that situation, the decision of the lower Court is immediately affirmed.
    I don’t believe we’ve had a vacancy on SCOTUS that lasted as long as this could potentially turn out to be, if Mitch decides to grow a backbone.
    This is a major game-changer.

  • Jet Jockey

    Things are going to get REAL UGLY!!! McConnell will not allow a vote before the next president takes office. If Ted Cruz does not get elected then it’s game over!! Time to stock up and hunker down!! The tree of liberty is about to get fed!!

  • Rocco

    Doom and Gloom. We’ve survived worst in America. Slavery of an entire race, the destruction of entire Indian nations and cultures, WWI, WWII, and the loss of beer and whiskey for decades. The 12 years of Lib agendas during the Roosevelt years was sad yes but I don’t think Justice Scalia’s death will wipe out the Constitution.

  • Cotour

    Lets assume that Obama will push this to the max, pull out all the stops, appointing a fifth life time liberal judge to the Supreme Court would be his crowning achievement. What ever fundamental change that he has been able effect will have a lasting legacy.

    I will miss Scalia, I liked him very much. I thought Roberts Constitutional betrayal regarding Obamacare would have taken him out judging by how outraged he was.

    And judging by McConnells recent past history I am not confident in his warnings to the president to not attempt to appoint anyone. What a mess, with potential to get messier.

  • TimArth

    While I do not know the timeline of nomination/confirmation etc, I do think that if there is time for 2 nomination processes prior to President Obama’s exodus, then he will first nominate someone cut from the same cloth as Kagan, Sotomayor, or Ginsburg. He will try this because ‘why not?’. I hope and think that the establishment will have enough of a backbone to reject that one. Then Obama will nominate a middle of the road applicant that the republicans couldn’t politically reject because he would obviously prefer to have a kennedy-type on the court rather than someone that a new republican president might nominate. Of course the preferred route would be to find a way to delay until the next president altogether. (Why Ginsburg and Breyer did not retire during Obama’s terms is beyond me. If a conservative wins, they are handing those two spots over to the conservatives.)

  • TimArth

    BTW – prior to my political comment, I should have expressed my sadness at Scalia’s passing. I was very shocked and saddened. I have met Rehnquist and Thomas, but I missed my chance to meet Scalia which I certainly regret. Also, I remember reading an article a couple of months ago by Scalia’s son about how he was being demonized so much in pop culture recently which was just sad because he was obviously a good father. This is obviously a major loss for his family and the country.

  • PeterF

    This is a sad day. Does anyone know how he died? Odd there was no explanation (and no speculation – yet).

    I pray that when he met the creator that he was able to hold his head high for his defense of the most humane civilization in recorded human history.

    On a related political note, I hope we are not saddled with another self-described “wise Latina” who demonstrated during her confirmation hearings that she did not know the difference between self defense and premeditated murder when asked her opinion concerning one of the most important cases concerning the 2nd amendment that Justice Scalia happened to write the majority opinion for.

  • pzatchok

    Sorry to see he has passed.

    Lets hope he takes a couple of months to nominate someone and the Senate takes as long as possible to turn it down.

    This does give the republicans a great reason to get out and vote in every republican they can. This is not just a presidential election coming up.

    Cruz could end up with a good 4 justices to appoint.

  • Wayne

    We are absolutely going to see the RINO contingent go into full gear over this. Mitch can not be trusted to block any Obama nominations & will actively work to subvert any move to get a real Conservative back on SCOTUS.
    There is a brief window between the election & January 2017, where Obama could attempt to pull an illegal “recess appointment,” so it’s imperative the Senate actually re-assert their power in this matter, but Mitch is a wheeler-dealer RINO & has allowed every one of Obamas selections for various Judges in the past. (And… holy cow– we haven’t had a real Budget in 7 years.)
    Trump thinks someone like his whacky left-wing Sister would be a good pick– God help us all if he gets anywhere near the White House.
    Full disclosure– I support Cruz. I actively worked for Reagan’s nomination in ’76, ’80, and ’84. The RINO’s hated Reagan even more than the Left.

  • Steve Earle

    February 13, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    “….I pray that when he met the creator that he was able to hold his head high for his defense of the most humane civilization in recorded human history….”


    I couldn’t agree more. Justice Scalia’s life was an amazing story that was told in one of John Batchelor’s broadcasts last year. I was listening while mowing the fields and remember thinking how different our lives might be today if not for the improbable rise of Antonin Scalia.

  • Wayne,

    Though we agree on almost everything, it hurts your argument to state that a recess appointment is “illegal”. It is entirely legal, and by stating otherwise you give those who disagree with you ammunition to discredit your other positions, no matter how correct those other positions might be.

    Should Obama get the chance to do a recess appointment it will be because the Senate, under Mitch McDonnell’s leadership, allowed him to do so by going into recess. In normal times it is reasonable for the Senate to be in recess, and even to allow recess appointments in certain cases. These are not normal times. Though McDonnell.has said there will be no vote on a new Supreme Court appointment before the next election, he is, as Ted Cruz noted on the Senate floor, “a liar.” I expect him to give Obama an opening by going into recess.

    Should he do so, Trump will win the election. If McDonnell does not, then Ted Cruz’s chances have increased enormously, which is why I think McDonnell with stab his party and conservatives in the back.

  • Steve Earle

    Sadly, I have to agree. Mitch McConnell is a liar. He has repeatedly said one thing and then done another. He will do whatever is best for him and/or the RNC, principles be damned.

    If I had to guess, Bob is probably right, he will find some way to give Obama an opening while all the while claiming he is “fighting” for the Right.

    This election, and by extension the fate of our Country, will come down to who does the RNC hate less.

    Need proof of that? Listen to the big RNC donors who have already hinted that they would support Hillary if they didn’t get the Republican nominee they wanted.

    So who do they hate less? Good question. At this point it sounds like it’s ABC Anyone But Cruz.

  • JWing

    I’ve heard that Joe Biden might be considered as a potential scotus nominee. With Biden’s connections in the senate, it would make it harder for McConnell to not allow an up or down senate vote on his confirmation.
    Also, Justice Ginsberg can still retire within the next year as well.
    Since Bork’s nomination debacle in 1987, the supreme court has become highly politicized, activist and anti-constitutional.
    I don’t trust McDonnell anymore that I trust Justice Roberts being a strict conservative originalist like Scalia.

  • JWing

    I fully agree with Hugh Hewitt’s take on this: “Lame duck presidents don’t make life-time appointments.” There is an 80 year precedent for this, too.

  • Outsider

    This morbid aspect of the constitution makes one think in strange ways. Three remaining members are about 80 years old, two of which were appointed by Clinton. So, how horrible it is to think so, the cold statistics kind of tend to even this out. I do think that lifetime appointment is a good idea, but there should be many more than nine members, maybe 29 or so, to give smoother changes. And maybe a minimum age, if there isn’t. A president shouldn’t appoint a teenager who would rule for a hundred years. I mean, appointing someone who is in his or her 80s already will likely not give a long lasting influence. Maybe Obama should do so now because he is soon leaving office, but again, it is a morbid thought, recruiting someone on the merit of probably dying soon.

  • Wayne DeVette

    Yes, you are absolutely correct. I should have been more clear about “recess appointments.” Obama could appoint someone during an actual recess and that would be completely legal.
    (I was co-mingling unstated thoughts on Obama’s past appointments to the NLRB & the subsequent court case.)
    -Just read your new post–excellent summary of the current situation in-play.

    –I come for the Science, but I do your enjoy your political tidbits & perspective!
    Wayne DeVette

  • Max

    “Does anyone know how he died?”
    Rush Limbaugh reported yesterday that he was found with a pillow over his face. It was declared natural causes without an optopsy. Done over the phone line without inspection or professional examination.
    The conspiracy theories are going wild. We all knew that something was going to occur so that the progressives could stay in power and maintain their one party monopoly…
    It is also working well as a distraction. The proxy war with Russia has not been going well and our allies are beginning to turn against us. Our governments support of Isis is being exposed and their back is against the wall to do anything about it.
    I no longer understand or recognize the world I live in today. Nothing makes sense. Perhaps that explains my skepticism on everything.

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