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Scalia Dead

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Scalia is dead.

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, of the Western Judicial District of Texas, was notified about the death from the U.S. Marshals Service.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was among those notified about Scalia’s death.

“I was told it was this morning,” Biery said of Scalia’s death. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he said. “My reaction is it’s very unfortunate. It’s unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we’re in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.”

I’d like to think this kills all “the two parties are the same so who cares if Republicans win in 2016” arguments if Hillary wins the nomination. But then I also know Salon exists.

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  • Brett

    Condolences to his family. I assume that if there’s a hell, Scalia is there now – “hell” meaning “the Devil endlessly tells him non sequitor knock-knock jokes while gay porn blares on wall-mounted television all around him”.

    On a more serious note, Erik’s right. The odds of the Republicans allowing Obama to nominate a replacement are basically zero, so this comes down to whether Democrats win the Senate and the Presidency in November. If they do, then they can put a liberal judge on the Court and decisively swing it towards a more progressive view of things. If not, then the Republicans will put some conservative judge on there and we’re basically fucked – especially since Breyer, Kennedy, and Ginsburg are also old and at serious risk of death or retirement in the next four years.

    • Reynard

      They can’t stop him from nominating a replacement. CNN has reported that he will do so.

      • AlanInSF

        McConnell has already announced the Senate can’t possiby confirm an Obama nominee, because the American people must have a voice in who gets appointed to the Supreme Court, by choosing a President and then allowing him to make the appointments.

        • gupwalla

          We already chose a President. We chose the same one twice, even, and he still has over 20% of his current term remaining. I really did believe in 2012 that we hired him for the full four years.

          And for better or worse, we chose this lot of Senators to advise and grant (or decline to grant) consent.

  • T Jasper Parnell

    Elizabeth Warren, for dog’s sake, ought to be the nominee

    • Gregor Sansa

      She’s too old.

    • JonH

      I feel like you want her to be involved much earlier. It take forever for anything to get to the Supreme Court. Someone first has to make the laws or regulations that the banks want to overturn in the courts.

    • Warren Terra

      Why do people keep suggesting Warren stop doing the job she sought, that she’s good at, and that we frankly need more people like her doing and sticking at?

      Also: Elizabeth Warren is far too old for a modern Supreme Court nominee. As Gregor pointed out.

  • JonH

    Vermin Supreme for Supreme Court.

    • keta

      If he was Chief Justice would it then become the Vermin Supreme Court?

      • AlanInSF

        The Vermin Supreme Supreme Court, brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

  • Ktotwf

    Something suspicious about an obese 79 year old man dying out of the blue.

    • Breadbaker

      Clearly a false flag.

  • Karen24

    Best thing that ever happened in Marfa.

    • The space aliens got to him.

      • I hope they’re aware of Earth’s strict no returns, no refunds policy.

      • DrDick

        Intergalactic garbage men?

    • Vance Maverick

      Isn’t Donald Judd’s museum / art colony there? Haven’t been, but I approve. Ben Lerner’s 10:04 is partly set there, if I recall (he mentions Robert Creeley as a previous guest).

  • UncleEbeneezer

    I take it Eric Holder is too old? :(

    • CD

      Bill Ayers is still pretty vigorous.

    • Warren Terra

      Deval Patrick is 59, also probably too old.

  • tsam

    So if a case ends up with a 4/4 vote, then what?

    • Socrets

      The most lower court decision controls the outcome. This is good because it means that public sector unions are safe for the moment and the stay on the Clean Power Plan is pointless because the lower court upheld it. It also means that conservatives have somewhat lost a pretty powerful weapon for the moment since the DC Circuit en banc isn’t as receptive as Scalia is to paranoid wingnuts.

      • Socrets

        Typos suck. The most recent decision before it hit SCOTUS controls.

        • Breadbaker

          The court has also historically scheduled some cases for rehearing when a vacancy occurs like this.

      • tsam

        Well that is good news. Now does that give standing (?) to petition for another hearing when the court is back to 9 justices, or does that settle the issue as if it were settled by SCOTUS?

  • LosGatosCA

    The world is a better place today than yesterday.

  • Malaclypse

    And his last vote was to kill the planet. May he find the hell he believed in.

  • JonH

    Ah fuck it. He should just appoint Beyonce.

    • joe from Lowell

      I don’t think you’re ready…

  • Cassiodorus

    You know, we should really be lamenting this sad day in American history. Scalia was the first right-wing blog comment section to gain consciousness and reach one of the highest offices in the land.

    • eh

      I like this synecdoche.

  • DrDick

    I may have to reconsider the existence of a divinity.

    • Malaclypse

      Azathoth always had a certain plausibility.

  • dr. hilarius

    Oh does this mean that Kennedy is no longer the swing vote? He must be devastated. Who would it be now? I guess it depends on the replacement. Maybe we can look forward to fewer hugely consequential cases being loosely reasoned and poorly written.

    • twbb

      This may make Kennedy even swingier, actually. “So both sides are dissatisfied with the circuit court? Well here’s the only way they’ll be overturned.”

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