RIP Antonin Scalia

My SA reports:

Associate Justice 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.

I heard Scalia speak in Wellington a few years ago. A razor sharp mind and someone whose impact on legal thinking has been profound.

As sad as the death is for his family and friends personally, the focus will of course be on the politics of a replacement. An Obama nominee would give the liberal wing a 5-4 majority on the court.

For this reason I suspect the Republican majority in the Senate will either not put his nominee to the vote (if they are qualified) or vote them down.

This means that the vacancy will be filled by the next President. If it is Clinton she will get the first liberal majority court in a generation. This makes the election ever higher stakes than normal.

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