Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia past away yesterday at age 79. At the time he was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, in West Texas. Attending a party of about 40 people, he retired early and was discovered yesterday morning deceased.
Justice Scalia was the longest standing Justice, appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986, and considered a brilliant jurist. He was a solid conservative voice throughout his tenure, often leading the way on conservative issues. He repeatedly called upon his colleagues to strike down the pro-choice Roe vs. Wade decision, came out against racial preferences and opposed same sex marriage.
President Obama announced he would fill the position, but most have doubts he will be able to do so during the “lame duck” portion of his Presidency.
If Scalia is replaced with a liberal judge, the Court could be lopsided to the left for several years. The next President will likely make several appointments, since Justice Kennedy (conservative) is 79 years old and Justice Ginsberg (liberal) is 82. A conservative president would end up with a solidly conservative court. A liberal President might have a bit more difficulty since Congress is currently ruled by a Republican majority.
If the next President happens to win two terms, he/she will likely also replace Justice Breyer (liberal) who is 77.
Scalia is survived by his wife, nine children and over two dozen grandchildren.