Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead at a resort in West Texas on Saturday. San Antonio news sources are reporting that the 79 year old died of natural causes. Scalia was a famously outspoken conservative, appointed to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1986. He fought for a strict, unwavering interpretation of the Constitution.
Scalia’s death has already precipitated a political firestorm. Mere minutes after the announcement, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that he would block any attempts to replace Scalia before the next President is sworn in. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.” So far, President Obama has not commented, except to offer his condolences.
Following Scalia’s death, the Court has three conservative leaning Justices and four liberal leaning ones, with Chief Justice Roberts sometimes falling on either side.