BREAKING NEWS: Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died

Justice Scalia

This is YUUGE:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at 79

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual cornerstone of the court’s modern conservative wing, whose elegant and acidic opinions inspired a movement of legal thinkers and ignited liberal critics, died Feb. 13 on a ranch near Marfa, Tex. He was 79.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

In a statement Saturday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts said: “On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. 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.”


Justice Scalia, the first Italian American to serve on the court, was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and quickly became the kind of champion to the conservative legal world that his benefactor was in the political realm.

An outspoken opponent of abortion, affirmative action and what he termed the “so-called homosexual agenda,” Justice Scalia’s intellectual rigor, flamboyant style and eagerness to debate his detractors energized conservative law students, professors and intellectuals who felt outnumbered by liberals in their chosen professions.

“He has by the force and clarity of his opinions become a defining figure in American constitutional law,” Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi said at a Federalist Society dinner honoring Justice Scalia at the 20-year mark of his service on the Supreme Court. He took his seat Sept. 26, 1986.

Justice Scalia was the most prominent advocate of a manner of constitutional interpretation called “originalism,” the idea that judges should look to the meaning of the words of the Constitution at the time they were written.

He mocked the notion of a “living” Constitution, one that evolved with changing times, as simply an excuse for judges to impose their own ideological views.

Critics countered that the same could be said for originalism — and that the legal conclusions Justice Scalia said were dictated by that approach meshed neatly with the justice’s views on the death penalty, gay rights and abortion.

It is hard to overstate Justice Scalia’s impact on the modern court. Upon his arrival, staid oral arguments before the justices became jousting matches, with Justice Scalia aggressively questioning counsel with whom he disagreed, challenging his colleagues and often dominating the sessions.

He asked so many questions in his first sitting as a justice that Justice Lewis F. Powell whispered to Justice Thurgood Marshall: “Do you think he knows the rest of us are here?”

Now the question is whether the GOP Senate can stall on approving a replacement until Obama leaves office.


About Deplorable Myiq2xu™

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191 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died

  1. Myiq2xu says:

    Scalia has been on the winning side of a lot of 5-4 decisions.

  2. Myiq2xu says:

    Few SCOTUS justices have left as big of a mark upon constitutional law as Scalia. He authored a lot of major opinions, and his dissents are worth reading too.

  3. Myiq2xu says:

    • Myiq2xu says:

      Ted Cruz:

      “Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history – Justice Antonin Scalia. A champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history.

      “As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism.

    • gram krakka says:

      God help us all, even Dems, if that Socialist Sanders becomes President and appoints 2 or 3 Supremes.

  4. taw46 says:

    I have heard several republicans say this appointment will go to the next President, even if it is a democrat one. And, I have heard talk of Obama making a recess appointment. Here we go again, war. And I don’t see the republicans winning, given their past performance.

  5. Myiq2xu says:

    UPDATE: Statement from Rubio.

    “Today, our nation has suffered a deep loss. Justice Scalia was one of the most consequential Americans in our history and a brilliant legal mind who served with only one objective: to interpret and defend the Constitution as written. One of the greatest honors in my life was to attend oral arguments during Town of Greece v. Galloway and see Justice Scalia eloquently defend religious freedom. I will hold that memory forever. The next president must nominate a justice who will continue Justice Scalia’s unwavering belief in the founding principles that we hold dear. Jeanette and I mourn the loss of Justice Scalia, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and his family.”

    UPDATE: Trump statement.

    “I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the Scalia family after the passing of Justice Scalia,” Trump said in a later statement. “Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time. His careerwas 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.”

  6. Myiq2xu says:

    John Cole:

    Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

    Antonin Scalia is dead, and the world is a better place. He was a wretch of a human being, and I don’t even want to pretend I am anything less than giddy at his passing. If there is a hell, may he rot for eternity next to Andrew Breitbart, and may he be taunted for eternity by the ghosts of the people he helped sentence to death.


    In my recollection, his only positive attributes were occasional support for the 1st and 4th amendment. But he was a horrible person, whatever his intellect, and it is worth noting that the VERY LAST thing Scalia was planning to do was to go on a hunting trip today, no doubt a canned hunt, to kill defenseless animals for sports.

    In his death, he will do us one final favor- to further demonstrate how phony originalism is, as right-wing Constitution fetishists spend the next couple weeks just flat out making shit up on how a Supreme Court Justice is appointed, as they attempt to come up with a way to deny Obama the right to appoint a justice this year.

    Fuck him.

  7. lyn says:

    Read that Scalia has nine children. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Somebody says:

    OMG a new POTUS is almost a year away, I don’t think Obama will wait to appoint. The court will convene before the election.

    • gram krakka says:

      Judge Napolitano and Shannon Bream are saying that if court decisions are split 4-4 then the lower court decision holds. Two current cases before the court, the Texas judge’s stay on Obama’s executive action on immigration of “dreamers families” and (is it?) abortion provider restrictions were decided in favor of conservatives in the lower court.

  9. gram krakka says:

    You know Eric Holder has to be on Obama’s short list.

  10. 1539days says:

    Many progs really seem to think of the Constitution as another artifact of old dead White men that hinders real change. Most of what they crow about in the US are the Amendments or federal laws that reduced the powers reserved for the states.

    The Constitution has clear rules and guidelines. It also leaves out a lot because the United States was more about letting people live without government intrusion. Obama’s “negative liberties” sums up what’s wrong with these people. In prog world, if the government doesn’t guarantee something for you, the rich and powerful taking it away from you.

  11. Somebody says:

    Perhaps Sandra Day O’Connor would agree to come back and fill in like she did before??? Please, pretty please with sugar on top.

  12. Dora says:

    I predict that Obama will make a recess appointment and it will be Holder.

    I hope to God I am wrong!

    • 1539days says:

      Can you make recess appointments for SCOTUS?

      • Somebody says:

        Well SCOTUS would have to rule on that, here we go round in circles.

      • Dora says:

        I believe you can, but it wouldn’t matter to Obama anyway. He’s going to do what he wants.

      • 49erDweet says:

        I hear the senate has a way to stay in session “pro forma” even when they’re not, so that could stymie him if the establishment GOP isn’t panting to roll over for him again……and again.

        • gram krakka says:

          Think the Senate is only not in session if the majority leader declares that it is not in session. I have confidence that McConnell will do everything that he can to keep it in session. Unfortunately if it does come to a vote, the rules were changed to not allow filibuster of judges (I think). Also was something changed about not needing 60 votes?

          • Somebody says:

            I think they kept the 60 vote for SCOTUS gram.

            BTW you have way more confidence in Mitch McConnell than I do.

      • leslie says:

        I don’t think POTUS can make an appointment to SCOTUS (from what I’ve been reading). SCOTUS justices must be confirmed by the Senate.

        It gives the responsibility for nominating federal judges and justices to the president. It also requires nominations to be confirmed by the Senate. First, look at the numbers. More than 600 judges sit on district courts, almost 200 judges sit on courts of appeals, and 9 justices make up the Supreme Court.

  13. Dora says:

    Donald J. Trump Statement on Justice Scalia

    I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the Scalia family after the passing of Justice Scalia. 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.

  14. Venus says:

    I was fortunate enough in law school to attend a guest lecturer/seminar series taught by Justice Scalia. He really was a witty, warm person and a great intellect.
    He and Justice Ginsburg were very good friends — they often went out together to the opera.

  15. elliesmom says:

    Obama will nominate an African-American. If the senate refuses to act on the nomination, then the Democrats will scream racism to gin up the black vote in November. If the Senate confirms Obama’s nomination, Republican turnout will reflect their anger. There is no scenario where this does anything except hurt the Republicans.

  16. taw46 says:

    Wouldn’t you know, someone actually checked for the longest vacancy.

    • taw46 says:

      From wiki:

      U.S. Supreme Court Justice Henry Baldwin died in 1844 during the administration of President Tyler. Tyler made two attempted appointments to the seat, Edward King and John M. Read, but the Senate confirmed neither, so the seat remained vacant when James K. Polk became president in March 1845. Polk also made two nominations, one of whom refused the appointment (future President James Buchanan), and the Senate refused to confirm George Washington Woodward. Polk finally nominated Grier on August 3, 1846, plucking him from relative obscurity. The Senate unanimously approved Grier on August 4, 1846, and he received his commission the same day, joining fellow Dickinson alumnus, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, on the Court.

    • Somebody says:

      I posted both of those and a link to the senate races, but somehow my post disappeared??
      The Senate races take on even more importance because the senate is sworn in a couple of weeks before POTUS.

      • Somebody says:

        I presume my original comment is in moderation due to three links???

        • taw46 says:

          Well, when it shows up, at least we will make sure people read it 😉.

          • Somebody says:

            It will be old news by then, LOL! It’s just odd, normally when I’m in moderation I can see my comments, but it says awaiting moderation. Maybe wordpress ate my comment.

            I had that same twitter link, a google books link about replacing Baldwin and a Larry Sabato link about the senate races.

            It looks like you and I were hunting for the same information taw, LOL!

            My husband said he’s seen all over twitter people making reference to Miguel Estrada. The dems in the senate held up his nomination to the US court of appeals for over two years from May 2001, until he withdrew in September 2003.

          • taw46 says:

            Yes, exactly, the Dems play hardball, but the media want to tell the republicans they have to go along with Obama. Screw them. How about Bork? Did not confirm him because he was conservative, then don’t confirm a liberal. They make me sick.

    • gram krakka says:

      OMG! Congress is currently adjourned. Will Obama make a recess appointment in the next few days?

  17. jeffhas says:

    Well, sadly I must say…. Elections have consequences.

    There is really no way the Senate should be holding up Obama’s nomination.

    I leave plenty of room for vigorous debate (especially if he nominated Holder), but if the can’t ‘Bork’ the nominee, the person should be confirmed.

    This is how our Country was set-up. A majority elected this clown, and we will all have to live with the legacy of his 8 year act.

    As much as I despise the man, knowing full well he will nominate someone as a full-throttled middle finger to America, it’s his choice and duty to nominate.

    …. And let me just also add, I can only hope that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ego is larger then her liberalism a because I expected her to roll on to retirement just before or shortly after the election so Obama could name her successor.

    It’s a historically bad day for the Country…. But this is what our Country stands for.

    • Venus says:

      Senate controls what comes to the floor for a vote.
      There is something called a co-equal branches of government.
      Obama can go fuck himself.

      • jeffhas says:

        Hey I understand Senate controls the floor vote… But they don’t control the President’s ability to nominate – and I said ‘nominate’ not that he just gets to pick his choice and the Senate MUST confirm his vote.

        And again, I think they should do everything they can to ‘Bork’ his nominees as many times as they can…. And I hope they are successful if the nominee is not a consensus pick.

        … But, if he somehow Obama shrewdly picks someone that is a consensus pick – well, that there is going to be rough, don’t kid yourself – I’m pretty sure his ego will immediately go to someone ‘holder-esque’ – to me that’s the easy nominee to block/delay/reject… It’s the Stealth nominee I worry about – the one that looks on the surface to be easily confirmable and a consensus choice.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Sadly true. “Elections Have Consequences” should be our new national motto.

    • Venus says:

      And just to reinforce how wrong you are:

      There hasn’t been a justice nominated and confirmed in an election year by divided government since 1880.
      Josh Blackman reported:

      Since the Civil War, there have been eleven nominations to the Supreme Court in a presidential election year. Of those nine were confirmed, one withdrawn, and one was not acted upon. However, of the nine that were confirmed, eight were with a unified government–that is the President and the Senate were of the same party. Only Justice William Burnham Woods, nominated by Rutherford B. Hayes (a Republican) was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1880. All other Justices who were nominated in election year were confirmed by Senates that were of the same party as the President.


    • lyn says:

      Just because morons re-elected Obama doesn’t mean Obama should get whatever he wants.

    • elliesmom says:

      It’s also the Senate’s responsibility to advise and consent on the nominations for the Supreme Court, and they do have the constitutional right to set the schedule for doing that. If the Democrats are as confident they will win the presidency as they claim they are and given the odds are in favor of them retaking the senate, it would appear they would have a better chance of getting a true liberal or a progressive justice on the court next year. The Republicans are taking the greater risk.

  18. taw46 says:

    Barf. Obama is on TV.

  19. gram krakka says:

    Got to go to bathroom. Obummer is speaking. I feel sick.

  20. Venus says:

    From the SCOTUSBLOG…

    What happens to this Term’s close cases? (Updated)
    By Tom Goldstein on Feb 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    The passing of Justice Scalia of course affects the cases now before the Court. Votes that the Justice cast in cases that have not been publicly decided are void. Of course, if Justice Scalia’s vote was not necessary to the outcome – for example, if he was in the dissent or if the majority included more than five Justices – then the case will still be decided, only by an eight-member Court.

    If Justice Scalia was part of a five-Justice majority in a case – for example, the Friedrichs case, in which the Court was expected to limit mandatory union contributions – the Court is now divided four to four. In those cases, there is no majority for a decision and the lower court’s ruling stands, as if the Supreme Court had never heard the case. Because it is very unlikely that a replacement will be appointed this Term, we should expect to see a number of such cases in which the lower court’s decision is “affirmed by an equally divided Court.”

    The most immediate and important implications involve that union case. A conservative ruling in that case is now unlikely to issue. Other significant cases in which the Court may now be equally divided include Evenwel v. Abbott (on the meaning of the “one person, one vote” guarantee), the cases challenging the accommodation for religious organizations under the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, and the challenge to the Obama administration’s immigration policy.

    The Court is also of course hearing a significant abortion case, involving multiple restrictions adopted by Texas. In my estimation, the Court was likely to strike those provisions down. If so, the Court would still rule – deciding the case with eight Justices.

    Conversely, the Court was likely to limit affirmative action in public higher education in the Fisher case. But because only three of the liberal Justices are participating (Justice Kagan is recused), conservatives would retain a narrow majority.

    There is also recent precedent for the Court to attempt to avoid issuing a number of equally divided rulings. In Chief Justice Roberts’s first Term, the Court in similar circumstances decided a number of significant cases by instead issuing relatively unimportant, often procedural decisions. It is unclear if the Justices will take the same approach in any of this Term’s major, closely divided cases.

  21. Underwhelmed says:

    I think this kind of info needs to spread far and wide. It must become a campaign issue:

  22. Myiq2xu says:

  23. Venus says:

    Rubio — First let me spit out my memorized talking points on Scalia

  24. Venus says:

    That red background is atrocious.
    It’s so bright with the lighting it’s making the white letters look pink.
    It’s like a vulva.

  25. Myiq2xu says:

  26. 1539days says:

    Trump needs more donors to put in those debate audiences.

  27. lyn says:

    Jeb! is an angry white man.

    • Somebody says:

      I think the moderator drew blood asking about Trump’s statement. Trump did not have a good answer

      • Somebody says:

        Wow Trump is doubling, no tripling down on W. George W is very popular is SC, he’s making a mistake attacking W like this

        • taw46 says:

          I agree, don’t think he should.

        • 1539days says:

          Trump wants to take out Jeb.

          • taw46 says:

            It does make Jeb look wimpy. Always forced to defend his mama and his brother, rather than talking about himself.

          • Somebody says:

            Trump is obsessed with Jeb. Jeb isn’t polling very well, why focus on him?

            I think we all got a look at perhaps why Trump focuses on Jeb when he spoke about 9-11. He said he knew hundreds of people in those towers. It’s clear he blames the Bush administration. I’m thinking maybe the prospect of another Bush might be a big part of why he decided to run…….it seems kind of personal with regard to the Bush family. I’m sure there were other factors too. Then again maybe I just read too much into that series of exchanges.

            Either way I still say it was a mistake on Trump’s part, W is popular in SC. On top of that he kept going back to it……first rule of holes, stop digging.

          • 1539days says:

            If that’s the case, it’s very similar to Ross Perot. In 1992 he mostly campaigned against George HW Bush and arguably took most anti-Clinton votes away from Bush. From a tactical standpoint, I think Trump needs Bush out sooner to focus his attention on Marco. The backfire is that, as a non-Trump fan, Bush looks better standing up to Trump.

        • lyn says:

          Jeb! is proof that we don’t need another Bush for president.

          • swanspirit says:

            Where does Yeb1 get off? We can’t talk about his family?? EXCUSE ME?What is he going to say next? off with his head he has insulted the “crown” ?? This is not a monarchy and that is precisely why we don’t want you Yeb!

        • Venus says:

          He said this same stuff about W 7 months ago. I thought it was going to end him then; it didn’t.

  28. lyn says:

    Why is Trump always first?

  29. lyn says:

    This debate is missing the mud pit.

  30. DandyTIger says:

    The debate so far: the debate questioners and the lobbyist/donor audience make it clear this is an establishment party and outsiders are not welcome.

  31. taw46 says:

    Trump is the only hope of doing something about immigration. The rest will not.

  32. taw46 says:

    And Trump is right, no one talked about immigration before he announced.

    • Somebody says:

      I totally agree immigration wouldn’t be an issue without Trump. Without Trump they’d all be trying to out amnesty each other.

      I also think immigration both legal and illegal is one of the biggest issues our country needs to tackle.

      I have to say I agree with Kasich’s latest statements about all the junior high shit. Stop it already unless you want to watch Clinton or Sanders get sworn in next January. Stop the personal shit and focus on issues.

      • taw46 says:

        They weren’t kidding when they said politics was down and dirty in SC. I was born and raised in SC, and I remember my family talking about it. There were people in our county who used to steal ballot boxes, that kind of stuff.

  33. DandyTIger says:

    Best debate ever. Mostly because it’s an insane circus. I’m loving this.

  34. DandyTIger says:

    Bush said he wants to pull his pants down and moon Trump. Seriously, best debate ever.

  35. 1539days says:

    Could Ted Cruz use a different phrase about his father’s money than it being “in his underwear”?

  36. DandyTIger says:

  37. DandyTIger says:

  38. taw46 says:

    I just know someone soon will roll out a bunch of tomatoes, so they can start throwing them at one another.

    • Somebody says:

      I hope so, a big gong and a giant hook would be good too.

      I’m perplexed by Rubio’s last statement, I’m sure it sounded good in the focus group but it didn’t make sense. He talked about if he’s elected he’ll let states make decisions, blah, blah. He then says because he thinks Nikki Haley can make better decisions than Barack Obama…….um I thought this was an election to replace Obama????

  39. 1539days says:

    Wow. CBS telling Ben Carson to stop being so nice. I think he should stab the moderator.

  40. taw46 says:

    Carson is like a timeout, to give everyone a chance to catch their breath.

  41. DandyTIger says:

  42. 1539days says:

    And to top it off, an ad for House of Cards.

  43. 1539days says:

    Time for Trump’s statement to be booed by the donor class.

  44. DandyTIger says:

    Was wondering if Rubio’s batteries would last the whole debate. Whew.

  45. taw46 says:

    I must say, I have never seen a debate like this one.

  46. DandyTIger says:

    Best debate ever. I think it killed twitter.

  47. Myiq2xu says:

  48. Myiq2xu says:

  49. DandyTIger says:

  50. Myiq2xu says:

    This is my favorite part of the debates – when everybody goes on Twitter and claims their favorite candidate won (and Trump lost).

    • Somebody says:

      I don’t know who won that debate, but I don’t think it was Trump’s best performance. He let the audience and the other candidates get under his skin.

      • Myiq2xu says:

        I didn’t watch but I don’t let that stop me from expressing my opinion.

      • 1539days says:

        Trump tries to dominate by talking over people. This time, they kept on talking.

      • lyn says:

        People may crow that Trump had another meltdown, but he was being attacked by everyone. If people put themselves in his shoes, then Trump becomes a sympathetic figure. Who likes being bullied by a gang? I think Carson was the adult in the room. Also, Jeb!’s disinviting Trump to the Monday thing seemed childish.

  51. Myiq2xu says:

  52. Myiq2xu says:

  53. DandyTIger says:

  54. 1539days says:

    I missed the part where Rubio said Cruz didn’t know what he said on Univision because Cruz doesn’t know Spanish. Cruz then responded, in Spanish, that they could do the debate in Espanol. I wonder how much Spanish Cruz has to back that up.

  55. DandyTIger says:

    Fun. I tangled with some people on twitter. Way more fun than I thought.

  56. DandyTIger says:

    • 1539days says:

      This is seriously dangerous territory for Trump. He needs 95% of Republicans to vote for him to win the general election. If he keeps pulling that thread, there is no way he can win.

      • DandyTIger says:

        Probably is risky. But this is an anti Bush/Establishment movement out there. And it’s the truth.

        • 1539days says:

          As someone who already didn’t like Trump, this pissed me off to a whole other level. Plus, this is going to be in a bunch of ads. Oh, and because you say it’s the truth doesn’t mean it is.

          • DandyTIger says:

            It’s the truth. Not because I say it is. Bushies are going to have to come to grips with that one of these days. GWB and his neocon cronies were evil. Jeb has the same team as advisors.

          • DandyTIger says:

            Bush would lose in the general against even Bernie. It’s just amazing that the GOPe would push him.

          • 1539days says:

            I voted for Bush and I’m not voting for Trump. He just lost the nomination tonight.

          • DandyTIger says:

            Maybe so. But I suspect to a large number, Bush = Obama = Establishment. And they’re tired of it.

          • jeffhas says:

            Well, it is the truth in the sense that 9-11 did happen on Bush’s watch. Period. I mean it just DID.

            …. Now, Trump is playing with fire in that most Repubs do not think there was malice involved in GWB’s action or lack therof.

          • lyn says:

            Bush and his neocons destabilized the Middle East with the Iraq war, and the Republicans paid the price with Obama’s two terms. The impotence of the House and Senate against Obama adds fuel to the anti-establishment fire. I’m along for the ride, and I won’t write off Trump. Somebody has to shake this country up after 16 years of two bad administrations. Trump so far is the only one with the guts to do it.

  57. Constance says:

    Here is an idea. Obama could appoint Hillary to the supreme court. She isn’t going to get the Presidential nomination so if he appoints her for judge and she goes for it, a bunch of other younger Democrats could step up and run for President. Nominating a 70 year old socialist is political suicide for the Dems. Of course Obama would likely want to nominate a judge who is around 30 if possible so the court will be liberal for the next 50 years.

  58. 1539days says:

    Trump making more enemies

  59. mothy67, says:

    Still has my vote. NEVER ever any establishment tool.

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