Justice Antonin Scalia dead

UPDATED: Conservative jurist was 79. Ted Cruz mourns "champion of liberties," "stalwart defender of Constitution"

By Salon Staff

Published February 13, 2016 10:13PM (EST)

Antonin Scalia             (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Antonin Scalia (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

The San Antonio Express News and other Texas outlets are reporting the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

According to the Express News:

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.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has now confirmed the death in a statement, calling him "a man of God, a patriot and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution."

The Associated Press has now moved a short obituary:

Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died. He was 79.

The U.S. Marshal's Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of South Texas.

The service's spokeswoman, Donna Sellers, says Scalia had retired for the evening and was found dead Saturday morning when he did not appear for breakfast.

Ted Cruz in a statement called Scalia "a champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few justices who singlehandedly changed the course of legal history."

On Twitter, Cruz is already trying to move the nomination of a new justice into next year -- and a new president:

Here is how the New York Times's Adam Liptak is remembering him:

He was an exceptional stylist who labored over his opinions and took pleasure in finding precisely the right word or phrase. In dissent, he took no prisoners. The author of a majority opinion could be confident that a Scalia dissent would not overlook any shortcomings.

Justice Scalia wrote for a broader audience than most of his colleagues. His opinions were read by lawyers and civilians for pleasure and instruction.

Justice Scalia’s sometimes withering questioning helped transform what had been a sleepy bench when he arrived into one that Chief Justice Roberts has said has become too active, with the justices interrupting the lawyers and each other.

We'll move more information as it becomes available.

Salon Staff

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