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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin reportedly died in his sleep overnight while on a hunting trip at a resort ranch near the town of Marfa, Texas. (Photo: US Supreme Court)

Resisting Tradition of False Praise, Critics Remember Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)

Found dead on Saturday, the longest-serving Justice on the current court was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and was known as one of its most right-wing and regressive voices

Jon Queally

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead on Saturday, reportedly of natural causes, at a high-end resort in Texas.

Citing an "El Paso source close Scalia," local affiliate ABC 7 reported "that the 79-year-old died in his sleep last night after a day of quail hunting at Cibolo Creek Ranch outside of Marfa, Texas."

Subsequently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement confirming Scalia's death.

Scalia—the longest-serving Justice on the current court was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986—was known as one of its most right-wing and regressive voices.

Though much of the mainstream media immediately dove into the praising Scalia's notable accomplishments, a number of his critics took to social media in order to ensure the numerous destructive aspects of his legal legacy—despite the predictable calls that such discussions are somehow impolite—were not locked out of the discussion.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

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."

The U.S. Marshal Service, the Presidio County sheriff and the FBI were involved in the investigation. Officials with the law enforcement agencies declined to comment.

A federal official who asked not to be named said there was no evidence of foul play and it appeared that Scalia died of natural causes.

Though much of the mainstream press was quickly lining up on Saturday to offer glowing commemorations of his career as a public servant, many on Twitter wanted to be sure that his destructive judicial legacy was not completely whitewashed. At the same time, others began taking stock of the political implications of the now vacant seat on the nation's highest court:


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'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

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