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Local news outlets report that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on a hunting trip near Marfa, TX.

From KVIA:

An El Paso source close to Justice Antonin Scalia tells ABC-7 that the 79-year-old died in his sleep last night after a day of quail hunting at Cibolo Creek Ranch outside of Marfa, Texas.

The Justice did not report feeling ill and retired to his room after dinner. The source, who was traveling with Scalia, told ABC-7 an El Paso priest has been called to Marfa.

Texas Governor Greg Abbot has apparently released a statement on Justice Scalia's death:


The jury's technically still out on whether a new justice will be appointed during Obama's term, but it looks like republicans are rallying to block the president's attempts to fill the seat.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wrote that he wants the seat left open for a year:


SCOTUSblog has a good summary re: what will happen to the cases currently under consideration by the Supreme Court. Publisher Tom Goldstein says all cases decided by a 5-4 will now be 4-4s, and the decision in the lower court will be upheld. The court will continue to decide on cases with only eight judges, and there's plenty of important ones coming up. Here's a brief list: (1) whether religious institutions have to provide their employees with contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, (2) whether Texas can endanger women's health by placing extreme restrictions on clinics that provide abortion services, (3) whether UT Austin was racist for not admitting a white woman of average intelligence, and (4) whether public unions can force their members to pay dues.

Scalia was clearly a smart person with a sense of humor (evidence of which you can find in this summary of a recent case about whether a fish was an object or a document—Scalia: "Is there such a thing as an intangible object? I’m trying to imagine one"). He also has a family in mourning. But, in my view, the fact that he was smart and arguably a gifted writer with a family who loved him only makes his choice to support grand-scale bigotry, hatred, and death more terrible.

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