Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79.
Scalia was found dead Saturday morning at private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas, after he’d gone to his room the night before and did not appear for breakfast, said Donna Sellers, speaking for the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington. The cause of death was not immediately known. A gray hearse was seen at the entrance to the Cibolo Creek Ranch, near Shafter, on Saturday accompanied by an SUV.
President Barack Obama made clear Saturday night he would nominate a successor to Scalia, despite calls from Republicans to leave that choice — and the certain political struggle over it — to the next president. He promised to do so “in due time” while paying tribute to Scalia as “one of the towering legal figures of our time.”
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