February 13, 2016

"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dead at 79."

Reported in the Chicago Tribune.

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....

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."
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.]

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.

95 comments:

Jack Wayne said...

Any bets the Senate will vote on an Obama nomination?

Simon said...

Thankyou, Sir, for your service. I would not be the man I am today without you, and if the world you leave is not better than the one you found, I dare say that it would be much worse but for your efforts.

Limited blogger said...

God rest your soul, USSC Justice Antonin Scalia.

Lem said...

Ditto what Simon just said.

The Godfather said...

God rest his soul, and comfort his family.

Amadeus 48 said...

Oy vey!

SteveR said...

Good Justice. Maybe this wakes up the sleeping voters. (probably not) Pay attention.

EDH said...

So, will the press declare it's the conservative Italian seat on the Supreme Court?

buwaya puti said...

Crisis on crisis on crisis.
It's just starting.
At some point half of everyone will be in a killing rage against the other half, and vice versa.
This will be a very bad year.

coupe said...

You did good Tony! He was a nice boy, and he was smart.

I was thinking Ruth and him would retire this year, so it looks like Ruth will have to wait. I loved their interviews together. They are so natural.

I'm wondering if she can suffer through the others without Scalia being there.

Mr Wibble said...

At some point half of everyone will be in a killing rage against the other half, and vice versa.
This will be a very bad year.


To hell with it. I say let the shooting start.

Terry said...

Bad news. Given the ineptitude of the GOP congress, the SC has been the only backstop against Obamaism (or call it Caesarism, if you like). Obama will try to appoint a figure like himself to the bench, and will stop at nothing to do so.

buwaya puti said...

The danger here is that it opens the door wide to regulatory overreach, now unconstrained by any risk of judicial appeal, leading to a new Dred Scott-level decision.
One more step to a pre-revolutionary condition.

eddie willers said...

Oh my. So terrible.

RIP

Tank said...

There is a special place in hell for any Rep who helps Zero fill this spot.

Spiros Pappas said...

Justice Scalia was the best writer of the group. He was also the funniest.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

He will be missed.

David Begley said...

A great, great Justice. A giant. One of the best.

Now watch the Libs in all their personal horribleness gloat with glee and try to get another lib on the Court.

Any respect for Scalia will be pure phoniness.

Hillary will try to use this to her advantage. Count on that.

fivewheels said...

This is bad news for all of us, in the short and long runs.

Is this particularly bad news for Trump? A lot of conservatives could probably imagine some positive things that could come from a Trump presidency, but choosing conservative justices might not have been on that hypothetical list.

Rusty said...

Anybody want to guess what socialist shithead Obama is going to appoint.

Quayle said...

Leftist bat blows and foot stomping on the memory and character of Scalia, as if he were some discarded inconvenient computer server, in 3.....2......1....

But we can all rest assured that none of it will be vicious.

jr565 said...

Not scalia! I loved that guy. He actually had character and wasn't a total dweeb. I'm sure that Obama is going to nominate a conservative judge to replace him. I have absolutely no doubt about it.

Michael K said...

"This will be a very bad year."

Yes.

The Bill Kristols will be hysterical.

bbkingfish said...

We'll never see a justice like him again.

jr565 said...

So this ties into the repub debate. What will Trump say is the type of judge who should replace him?Is he goign to say strict conservative, or will he prefer an anthony kennedy type.
Because the ACTUAL repubs still running might have a bit more to say about it. Do we want a Trump to nominate MORE non constitutionally inclinded judges to the bench?
I have grave doubts as to his intentions when it comes to judges.

Adamsunderground said...

A dignified end to one of the best men of our times. There is justice in this world, even if its champions are taken from us.

Real American said...

If the GOP Senate confirms an Obama nominee to replace Scalia, it will be the biggest political betrayal of the American people in the history of this country. Doing so will justify destroying the party and starting over.

Once written, twice... said...

Let it be noted that the governor of Texas was the first to introduce politics into Scalia's death.

coupe said...

Ted Cruz: ...We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.

Wow, Obama ought to have felt that punch in the gut.

I wonder if other candidates think we should wait a year for a new Justice?

Paul said...

So, did Obama kind of 'help' him die?

After all, Obama did say he was going to 'fundamentally' change the country.

The Bergall said...

As an aside, I recall an interview he gave years ago when he was asked what he did after work.

He replied "I sit, smoke a Virginia Slim and have a martini"............

garage mahal said...

So, did Obama kind of 'help' him die?

LOL

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@jr565

Trump should say he'll appoint Cruz!

Once written, twice... said...

I am hearing rumors that he OD'ed and chocked on his own vomit. Has anyone else been hearing those rumors?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ted Cruz: ...We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.

I disagree. I think the GOP senate leadership should come out and say that they will happily confirm any Obama nominee who has shown a basic understanding of and respect for the Constitution.

Of course, the effect will be the same.

robother said...

RIP. Literally irreplaceable: no principled conservative like Scalia could ever be considered for nomination by a Republican President, much less survive cloture to get consent of the Senate.

Even if (and they are large ifs) the Republican Senate blocks any Obama appointee and a Republican is elected President this year, we will never see his like again on the SCOTUS. The country, and the Constitution, have lost an heroic defender today.

Bob Boyd said...

One of the worst pieces of news I have ever received.

Michael K said...

"I have grave doubts as to his intentions when it comes to judges."

I have no doubts about who Bernie or Hillary would appoint.

We are in uncharted seas.

Dr Weevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

I am hearing rumors that he OD'ed and chocked on his own vomit. Has anyone else been hearing those rumors?

So when you find out its not true, will you adjust your estimation of the credibility of that news source accordingly? Or will you doggedly believe it is true based on your prejudices and the words of some anonymous web commenter? It's an honest question.

Dr Weevil said...

I've heard rumors that Once Bitten, Twice Stupid is a vile subhuman Morlock - turns out the rumors actually understated the depths of his baseness.
I've already had to unfollow two people on Twitter, whom I would gladly follow for their tweets on literature and culture, if they could just restraint themselves from saying nasty stupid things about politics. I'm guessing my unfollows may get into double digits by the time I go to bed. Oh, well.

Amanda said...

"We'll never see a justice like him again."

From your lips to God's ears.

coupe said...

Once written, twice... said...Has anyone else been hearing those rumors?

He's not even been brought home yet. Pray for his family. His wife and family are beautiful people, and were loved by him.

traditionalguy said...

Texas is still
a dangerous place to key man political job holders.

Michael K said...

"Once written..." has posted previous vile comments.

Gahrie said...

Any bets the Senate will vote on an Obama nomination?

With McConnell in charge? I'll be surprised if we don't wind up with Bill Clinton or Kamala Harris on the Court.

jimbino said...

Only 4 Roman Catholics and 3 Jews left. Maybe now's the time to appoint a Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or, god forbid an atheist or humanist.

Adamsunderground said...

Broken records gotta keep skippin' until their own life's needle runs short

Mac McConnell said...

God bless Antonin Scalia, sadly he will be missed. On the other hand, his passing is another reason to vote for Cruz in 2016.

Dr Weevil said...

tim in vermont, coupe:
I'm pretty sure that the moron of the thread has not in fact been "hearing rumors". That was just part of his contemptible lie and pathetic attempt at a joke, designed to distance himself from it while getting his message across.

rhhardin said...

A burqa would fit in with the robes.

Mac McConnell said...

Gahrie said...
"With McConnell in charge? I'll be surprised if we don't wind up with Bill Clinton or Kamala Harris on the Court."

Or maybe he'll help out the Grifter's nomination and appoint Bernie, kill two birds with one stone..

George Ferko said...

We there be an outcry that we need to keep the balance of the Court the same, as was the case after Lewis Powell resigned?

rhhardin said...

Too much depends on the SC because Congress no longer pays any attention. It's a crisis of Congress's doing.

Not that the SC is coming through. It has a strong legislative wing.

Brando said...

Sad news--he was one of the all time greats. And probably one of the most influential. He'll be missed.

And now Washington will undergo a shit show over his replacement.

Roughcoat said...

It was a crisis involving SCOTUS in 1857 that lit the fuse for the Civil War. Will it be a crisis in SCOTUS this year that lights the fuse for a second Civil War? I'm getting ready for that possibility. If Obama and the Democrats ram a radical leftist through the conformation process ... that's it, I'm done. I'm betting a lot of others feel the same way.

Michael K said...

The precedent is Abe Fortas in 1968. We can only hope for honor among Senators. And I do mean hope.

Brando said...

Bad as this is, imagine if this happened while Reid still ran the Senate. Anyone doubt he would have suspended the filibuster for this?

buwaya puti said...

Roughcoat is right.
This is very dangerous.
The appointment controversy will be ugly, but if the wrong person is appointed its likely to be next years decisions or the year after which will risk a constitutional crisis.

mezzrow said...

I'm gutted to hear this. Aside from missing the wisdom of this great man, I can't see any good scenarios evolving from handling this appointment.

Fasten your seat belts and secure loose objects. There may be some turbulence ahead.

George Ferko said...

The Senate was heavily democratic in '68 when LBJ nominated Fortas to replace Warren. It's quite different today.

Adamsunderground said...

Ann Coultier or Laura Ingraham, please pick up the courtesy phone and lobby

Roughcoat said...

Real American said: If the GOP Senate confirms an Obama nominee to replace Scalia, it will be the biggest political betrayal of the American people in the history of this country. Doing so will justify destroying the party and starting over.

Absolutely correct.

I expect the issue of replacing Scalia will supersede the immigration issue in the presidential campaigns of all the candidates in both parties.

Things are going to get very hot and very noisy. Like 1968, only crazier.

Mark this date: February 13, 2016. The real beginning of the Year of Living Dangerously.

Once written, twice... said...

All, I would like to apologize for my previous comment.

I meant "choked" not "chocked." Damn autocorrect!

Once written, twice... said...

Seriously, I did not mean the Scalia cooked on his own vomit comment. Instead, I meant it as a lesson to all of you who wrote mean things on this forum when Senator Kennedy died.

R.I.P. A. Scalia.

Once written, twice... said...

"Cooked."

Damn autocorrect!

Howard said...

Was Dick Cheney around? Right-wingers should avoid fancy-man fish-in-a-barrel bird slaughter ranches. Do you suppose Jesus would hunt there?

Elizabeth Warren in a recess appointment.

Bob Boyd said...

A black day. A very sad sad day.
It's a rare man whose life and death make such a difference.
Damn.
I think I'll get drunk.

rcocean said...

So sad. Scalia was the greatest SCOTUS justice of the last 50 years. He will be missed. If only Reagan had appointed Bork instead of Grandma O'Connor - oh what might have been.

Birkel said...

George Ferko,

If only I could force myself to believe that.

Birkel said...

"Once Bitten, Twice..." believes that a murderer like Ted Kennedy deserves the same respect as a non-murderer like Antonin Scalia.

Insert choice, derogatory words here.

Birkel said...

I support the recess appointment of Warren. That could be corrected ASAP.

Amanda said...

"Elizabeth Warren in a recess appointment."

From your lips to God's ears. It was used by President Eisenhower, it can be used by President Obama.

"New Jersey judge William J. Brennan was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 through a recess appointment."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recess_appointment

SukieTawdry said...

I can't imagine worse news for our country right now. I am quite devastated. RIP, Justice Scalia. Thank you for your years of service to this nation and its Constitution.

Amanda said...

Who knows what the makeup of the Senate will be after the election. It's anyone's guess.

Bob Boyd said...

Helps Cruz. Hurts Trump.
Shit just got real.

Beach Brutus said...

Now I know how all you '60s hippie types feel about the day John Lennon died.

jimbino said...

Now's the chance for an appointment of a 4th Jew to SCOTUS, bringing a close "balance" of 5 Roman Catholics and 4 Jews to SCOTUS. Those of you who are of discredited religions like Protestantism, Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Humanism can just lump it.

Beach Brutus said...

Now I know how all you '60s hippie types feel about the day John Lennon died.

Rusty said...

The usual suspects show their class again. I wonder if they teach their children this stuff.
Pfft. Of course they do.

Rocco said...

EDH said...
So, will the press declare it's the conservative Italian seat on the Supreme Court?

So Andrew Napolitano gets his seat?

Alex said...

Obama will nominate some odious liberal and the GOP senate will confirm him/her because they have no spine.

MadisonMan said...

My son told me this as we were waiting to eat.

I was shocked. In retrospect, I shouldn't have been -- the man was old after all.

I appreciate all he's done for the USA. What a career!

Alex said...

He was old and obese. If he had lived a healthier lifestyle, he might have made it to 90.

eddie willers said...

Who knows what the makeup of the Senate will be after the election. It's anyone's guess.

If Obama acts in his typical, arrogant way, the backlash will bring a veto-proof Republican majority along with a Republican president.

Bob said...

To rcocean:

Reagan did appoint Robert Bork to the Court, and the Senate rejected him.

My take on this is that President Hillary Clinton will have the opportunity to appoint several justices over the course of her term.

Yes, I can't imagine that Hillary will not be elected, unfortunately.

madisonfella said...

The usual suspects show their class again. I wonder if they teach their children this stuff.
Pfft. Of course they do.


I agree. The comment about Obama "helping" kill the Justice was disgusting. And of course that hatred towards our President was taught, because it sure isn't natural.

Nichevo said...

Michael K said...
"Once written..." has posted previous vile comments.
2/13/16, 5:19 PM

That's not what the professor calls vile. Or at least, it's not what she dislikes. So it's interesting what she does dislike.

Big Mike said...

Dear Law Professor. What happens to cases taken by the court that thanks to Scalia's death are decided 4-4? Do those cases get held over until the Court has an odd number of justices again? Or does this simply mean that the holding in the lower court is allowed to stand.

David Begley said...

"how, by your lights, that’s going to be regarded in 50 years.

I don’t know either. And, frankly, I don’t care. Maybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights, and here’s Scalia, standing athwart it. At least standing athwart it as a constitutional entitlement. But I have never been custodian of my legacy. When I’m dead and gone, I’ll either be sublimely happy or terribly unhappy.

You believe in heaven and hell?
Oh, of course I do. Don’t you believe in heaven and hell?"

New York magazine interview.

CStanley said...

RIP Justice Scalia.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are cursed to go on living in interesting times.

CStanley said...

I'm interested in the answer to OM's 10 pm question. I read elsewhere that the lower court rulings will stand, and that there are some very consequential cases that will go against conservatives if this happens.

So on balance, obviously conservatives don't want Obama getting a nominee through but in the short term there are some unfavorable a for conservatives if he doesn't. On the other hand, clearly Obama won't appoint someone who will tip the 4-4 in the conservative direction, so it's a no-win situation for conservatives.

I wonder if it wouldn't be best of all bad outcomes though to let him do a recess appointment, assuming he'll put someone galvanizing in, and let this affect election turnout in the GOP favor.

Simon said...

CStanley said...
"I'm interested in the answer to OM's 10 pm question. I read elsewhere that the lower court rulings will stand, and that there are some very consequential cases that will go against conservatives if this happens. So on balance, obviously conservatives don't want Obama getting a nominee through but in the short term there are some unfavorable a for conservatives if he doesn't."

First: An evenly-divided court affirms the decision below without making binding precedent.

Second: I don't understand the reasoning. So if Obama doesn't get to make an appointment, there are cases in which the liberals prevailed below that will stand because of a 4-4 tie therefore it's better that he should get to make an appointment who will affirm those cases 5-4 at the Supreme Court? For example, take the EPA case in which the court last week granted a stay pending appeal, and assume for sake of argument that it comes out in the government's favor in the D.C. Circuit. So you're saying that it's better for America that Obama makes an appointment and that appointee joins a 5-justice majority to affirm than it is that he be prevented from making an appointment and an evenly-divided court affirms the panel? That makes no sense to me.

Sammy Finkelman said...

יב כִּי גַּם לֹא-יֵדַע הָאָדָם אֶת-עִתּוֹ, כַּדָּגִים שֶׁנֶּאֱחָזִים בִּמְצוֹדָה רָעָה, וְכַצִּפֳּרִים, הָאֲחֻזוֹת בַּפָּח; כָּהֵם,
יוּקָשִׁים בְּנֵי הָאָדָם, לְעֵת רָעָה, כְּשֶׁתִּפּוֹל עֲלֵיהֶם פִּתְאֹם.

For man also knoweth not his time; as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3109.htm

Rusty said...

OpenID madisonfella said...
The usual suspects show their class again. I wonder if they teach their children this stuff.
Pfft. Of course they do.

I agree. The comment about Obama "helping" kill the Justice was disgusting. And of course that hatred towards our President was taught, because it sure isn't natural.

I'm sorry. Has the president died? Because he's a reprehensable man. Which is about as damning as I can get. Is there anything you have said about former president Bush that you'd like to take back. And as far as I know stupidity is not a race. If it were some of the usual suspects heere would need afirmative action.