SHOCKER: Justice Antonin Scalia found dead at 79

Tragic news for those who still love America and American democracy. Justice Scalia’s death leaves U.S. Supreme Court in serious danger of losing its thin, Conservative majority.

President Ronald Reagan and Judge Antonin Scalia conferring in the Oval Office, July 7, 1986. (Image via U.S. government, public domain)

WASHINGTON, February 13, 2016 – BREAKING: Tragic news today is being reported out of Texas, where Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, was found dead Saturday morning, apparently from natural causes as several sources report.

According to,

“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.”

Law enforcement officials do not suspect foul play in Justice Scalia’s death.

A champion of strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and a strong supporter of Conservative principals, Scalia was nominated to the nation’s highest court by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Even political enemies have long regarded him as the sharpest intellect on the bench, and his rational presence will be sorely missed on a court that has often lacked balance and consistency in recent key decisions.

Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

Given the timing of Scalia’s death—in the midst of a hotly-contested election year—and given the contentious relations between the current U.S. President and Congress—it is highly unlikely that the Hill will approve any Supreme Court nominee put forth by the Obama Administration.

Scalia’s sudden death also leaves the potential outcome of several key Supreme Court cases in doubt. Split 4-4 Supreme Court votes—now increasingly likely until a successor is appointed and approved—could allow decisions by lower courts to stand.

Details on this story continue to develop.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17