Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is dead at the age of 79.
Justice Scalia has widely been considered to be the most conservative justice on the court.
Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Justice Scalia is the longest-serving Supreme Court Justice on the court. He was not only principled, he was also witty, brilliant, charismatic, and had an amazing sense of humor.
ABC 7 reports that Scalia was attending a private quail hunting trip in Marfa, Texas. He was is reported to have died in his sleep of natural causes after hunting a luxury resort at Cibola Creek Ranch in West Texas. Those who were with Scalia said he did not complain of feeling ill at all before retiring to bed last night.
One person who was notified of his death, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery, shared his shock over the news of Scalia’s death. He added he did not believe that any appointment to Scalia’s seat would occur before the election of the next president.
“I was told it was this morning. It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how. My reaction is it’s very unfortunate. It’s unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we’re in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.”
A federal official says that foul play is not suspected in Scalia’s death.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement following the announcement of Justice Scalia’s death.
“He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. 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. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
Justice Scalia leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Maureen, and nine children.