U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is dead at the age of 79. Scalia was found dead at a resort in West Texas near the city of Marfa. Scalia was the longest serving justice on the Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Reagan in 1986.
In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts said:
"On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott extended his "deepest condolences" and praised him for his "fierce loyalty to the Constitution." He says:
"He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues," Roberts said. "His passing is a great loss to the court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family."
CNN reports Scalia died in his sleep while visiting Texas. According to a government official, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice went to bed not feeling well, and never got up for breakfast the following morning. CNN says the group he was hunting with left without him, but when someone from the ranch went to check on Scalia, that's when he was found unresponsive.
A native of Trenton, New Jersey, Scalia was known for his conservative views on issues like abortion and the death penalty. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and was the longest serving justice on the Supreme Court. Scalia was known for his belief that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted as it would have been understood when it was written. A devout Catholic, Scalia argued that abortion wasn't protected by the Constitution and had called for the court to overrule the protections provided in the Roe v. Wade decision. Scalia was also known for his opposition to laws that made distinctions based on race, gender and sexual orientation.
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