Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dead at 79

(AP) - Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, died Saturday. He was 79. The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a

News 12 Staff

Feb 14, 2016, 4:27 AM

Updated 3,074 days ago

Share:

(AP) - Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, died Saturday. He was 79.
The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas. Spokeswoman Donna Sellers said Scalia had retired the previous evening and was found dead in the morning after he did not appear for breakfast.
Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right after his 1986 appointment by President Ronald Reagan. He also advocated tirelessly in favor of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers.
Scalia's impact on the court was muted by his seeming disregard for moderating his views to help build consensus, although he was held in deep affection by his ideological opposites Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Scalia and Ginsburg shared a love of opera. He persuaded Kagan to join him on hunting trips.
His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights drew heavily on the history of the Second Amendment and was his crowning moment on the bench.
He could be a strong supporter of privacy in cases involving police searches and defendants' rights. Indeed, Scalia often said he should be the "poster child" for the criminal defense bar.
But he also voted consistently to let states outlaw abortions, to allow a closer relationship between government and religion, to permit executions and to limit lawsuits.
He was in the court's majority in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, which effectively decided the presidential election for Republican George W. Bush. "Get over it," Scalia would famously say at speaking engagements in the ensuing years whenever the topic arose.
Bush later named one of Scalia's sons, Eugene, to an administration job, but the Senate refused to confirm him. Eugene Scalia served as the Labor Department solicitor temporarily in a recess appointment.
A smoker of cigarettes and pipes, Scalia enjoyed baseball, poker, hunting and the piano. He was an enthusiastic singer at court Christmas parties and other musical gatherings, and once appeared on stage with Ginsburg as a Washington Opera extra.
Ginsburg once said that Scalia was "an absolutely charming man, and he can make even the most sober judge laugh." She said that she urged her friend to tone down his dissenting opinions "because he'll be more effective if he is not so polemical. I'm not always successful."


More from News 12
2:27
Commuters react to attempted assassination of former President Trump

Commuters react to attempted assassination of former President Trump

1:42
Heat Alert: Hot and humid with highs in the 90s through Wednesday, evening thunderstorms possible

Heat Alert: Hot and humid with highs in the 90s through Wednesday, evening thunderstorms possible

0:36
Former state representative and candidate apologizes for Trump shooting meme

Former state representative and candidate apologizes for Trump shooting meme

3:30
Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

2:14
Don't be caught in the dark: Are you ready to power through hurricane season?

Don't be caught in the dark: Are you ready to power through hurricane season?

5:30
In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

0:31
Sen. Blumenthal on Trump assassination attempt: 'Political violence is absolutely unacceptable'

Sen. Blumenthal on Trump assassination attempt: 'Political violence is absolutely unacceptable'

2:07
A look back at US political violence that changed history

A look back at US political violence that changed history

4:10
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

1:52
Law enforcement experts assess security failure at Trump rally

Law enforcement experts assess security failure at Trump rally

2:37
Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

2:27
Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:29
Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:34
Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

 Greenwich PD: 2 suspects sought in armed carjacking; vehicle last seen in Yonkers

Greenwich PD: 2 suspects sought in armed carjacking; vehicle last seen in Yonkers

2:03
Poll: More than 40% of women skip or delay medical screenings and appointments

Poll: More than 40% of women skip or delay medical screenings and appointments

0:37
Police: Missing Connecticut teenager located in New Jersey

Police: Missing Connecticut teenager located in New Jersey

0:18
Police: Car strikes tree before bursting into flames in Stamford

Police: Car strikes tree before bursting into flames in Stamford

1:43
Fairfield County trio create ONIT for those looking for odd-jobs

Fairfield County trio create ONIT for those looking for odd-jobs

0:24
Greenwich police: Be wary of phone scam involving fake detective

Greenwich police: Be wary of phone scam involving fake detective