AND: "Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said."
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....ALSO: The NYT obituary by Adam Liptak. Or... I should say, the beginnings of what should be a long obituary. The NYT still has nothing on the front page, 18 minutes after I put this post up. I found the Liptak piece by searching the site. [UPDATE: There's a full obituary at the link now and a big banner headline on the front page.]
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday afternoon, calling Scalia a man of God, a patriot and an "unwavering defender of the written Constitution." "He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution," Abbott said. "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."
AND: From a post I did just 9 days ago:
Have you noticed the meme The next President will appoint as many as 4 Supreme Court Justices?
It seems hard to believe that there could be 4 vacancies to fill within one 4-year presidential term, and we have not seen more than 2 per term unless we go back as far as Richard Nixon. Nixon had 4 appointments, all within his first term. Consider the age of the current Justices: Justices Scalia and Kennedy will turn 80 in the next few months. Justice Ginsburg will be 83 next month, and Justice Breyer turns 78 in August.