U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at 79 | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, February 13, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at 79

Posted By on Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 4:10 PM

SCALIA: Dead at 79.
  • SCALIA: Dead at 79.
Multiple news sites are reporting that conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today at the age of 79 at a ranch in West Texas. I'll update this post as details come in. He was reportedly on a quail hunting trip in Marfa. According to the San Antonio Express News, Scalia died at Cibolo Creek Ranch, located between Marfa and Presidio.  Scalia's 29-year tenure was the fifteenth longest in the history of the Court. He was probably the most prominent advocate of originalism, a theory of constitutional interpretation holding that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed and unchanging at the time of its original enactment, unless formally amended. 

It is of course impossible not to note the implications for American jurisprudence when a Supreme Court justice dies. If Scalia's replacement is selected by a Democratic president, it could tip the balance on a Court often split 5-4 on numerous issues. The GOP-controlled Congress will almost certainly refuse to approve a justice selected by President Barack Obama in his lame duck year. Republican activists are already demanding that the Senate block any nominee, regardless of qualification. Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register reports that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley says he is making no prognostication on the timing or outcome of a nomination.

Ted Cruz minced no words: "Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement." And here's the communications director for Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a member of the judiciary committee: "What is less than zero? The chances of Obama successfully appointing a Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia?" 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement, "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." 

Minority Leader Harry Reid countered, "The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away." He took to Twitter to add, "Would be unprecedented in recent history for SCOTUS to go year with vacancy. And shameful abdication of our constitutional responsibility."

One precedent is that Anthony Kennedy was appointed by Ronald Reagan and confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1988, an election year. In the country's history, seventeen justices have been confirmed by the Senate during a presidential election year (and Clarence Thomas was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in late 1991). But this GOP Senate is not going to do that. The Court will carry on one justice short for at least a year. The Court can hear cases with eight justices sitting. Any split 4-4 decision lets the lower court ruling stand and establishes no precedent. 

This will inevitably be an outsized issue in this year's presidential campaign. The stakes of the 2016 campaign just went up dramatically. 

This could impact U.S. Senate campaigns as well, Nate Cohn notes: "There are a lot of GOP-held Senate seats in tilt-blue, socially moderate-to-liberal states up this November."

Ezra Klein of Vox frets that a GOP-controlled Senate could continue to block a nomination indefinitely if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is elected president. 

Good illustration of the kind of impact that the next justice will have: 


Here's a partial obit from the New York Times. 

PS FROM MAX: The Clean Power case and affirmative action — issues in which the conservative bloc was spoiling to make big changes — are now in doubt. What's not in doubt is that President Obama won't fill this seat; the next president will.

PPS FROM RAMSEY: Sarah Kliff of Vox points out that Scalia's death comes a month before the Court's biggest abortion case in years

Here's a statement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

texas_scalia.png

Via Michael Beschloss, here's a 1986 photo of Scalia being sworn in: 

scalia.jpg

Tags: , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (34)

Showing 1-34 of 34

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-34 of 34

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • DHS continues to reimburse Medicaid managed care company co-owned by Preferred Family Healthcare

    The Department of Human Services continues to use a provider-led Medicaid managed care company that is part-owned by Preferred Family Healthcare, despite a recent decision to cut other ties with the Springfield, Mo.-based nonprofit enmeshed in multiple corruption scandals.
    • Jul 13, 2018
  • State yanks PFH funds

    Another former executive with scandal-plagued mental health provider arrested.
    • Jul 5, 2018
  • Robin Raveendran and Person 9 in the Cranford/Preferred Family Healthcare web

    The federal criminal information released as part of former lobbyist Rusty Cranford's June 7 guilty plea on bribery charges describes a Person 9 who worked for the nonprofit healthcare provider Preferred Family Healthcare and was associated with Cranford. The description of Person 9 appears to match Robin Raveendran, the former PFH executive — and former longtime staffer at the state's Department of Human Services — who was arrested Thursday in a separate case, charged in Independence County with two felony counts of Medicaid fraud after an investigation by the state's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
    • Jun 29, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Little Rock housing study finds linkage between respiratory-related hospital stays and property code violations

    People hospitalized for a respiratory-related illness at UAMS were twice as likely to rent a property that at some point has been issued a mold-related violation notice from Little Rock's Code Enforcement Division when compared to a control population adjusted for demographic differences.
    • May 2, 2018
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation