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United States Politics News

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died (theguardian.com) 1105

clovis writes: US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died in his sleep while on a hunting trip near Marfa, Texas. Justice Scalia was a Constitutional originalist and textualist. He did not believe the Constitution was a living document to be interpreted with the evolving standards of modern times.

I, for one, am very interested to see what happens next.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died

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  • Hoax (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:02PM (#51503013) Homepage Journal

    Netcraft does not confirm it.

  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:04PM (#51503021) Homepage Journal

    Obama should word with rankng Senate members of both parties and nominate a politically-centrist judge whose judicial qualifications are impeccable.

    The Democratic Party base will hate him for blowing an opportunity to name a liberal, and the Republican Party base will hate their party leaders for allowing Obama to fill the slot at all.

    • by mrscott ( 548097 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:20PM (#51503123)
      This is how every justice should be nominated.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In all honesty they need to start by filling it with extreme left wings loonies to counter balance the extreme right wing loonies in the supreme court!

    • by rednip ( 186217 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:45PM (#51503285) Journal
      That's what George Bush should have done with Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement instead he replaced her with Alito, however, picking a Supreme Court justice is the Constitutional right of a President and there is little support in the Senate to play games with the Supreme Court, in part because the Court itself might fight back. He's already picked two moderates, maybe this time we will get a real liberal, but I doubt it. So you'll likely have your moderate.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Every justice should be apolitical and politicians should focus on making sure there's judicial independence. It never seizes to amaze me how politicized the SCOTUS appointments are and how grave effects they can have for decades to come.
      • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @09:34PM (#51503555)

        Every justice should be apolitical

        The one that just died was famous for digging through the historical records to try to determine what the authors of the Constitution might have thought instead of going by whichever way today's wind is blowing. What exactly do you have in mind when you want 'apolitical'?

        • by pem ( 1013437 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @09:52PM (#51503631)
          He was certainly famous for claiming to do that. The actual doing, not so much in some cases.
        • by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @09:54PM (#51503647)

          The one that just died was famous for digging through the historical records to try to determine what the authors of the Constitution might have thought instead of going by whichever way today's wind is blowing. What exactly do you have in mind when you want 'apolitical'?

          When it suited his beliefs, yes. Scalia used historical records like a drunk uses a lamppost -- for support, rather than illumination.

    • by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @10:42PM (#51503877)
      Why? Centrist doesn't mean "most reasonable" or "most fair". We want a judge who will respect human rights, the constitution, and bring a brilliant mind and a good heart. Someone who isn't afraid to be a voice of dissent.

      We need to stop pretending centrists are somehow morally superior, when they are mostly morally equal (or in some cases simply liberals or conservatives who haven't the guts to stand up for what they really believe in). It is also dismissive of the validity of the policy differences represented. Liberals and conservatives have real differences that matter, and sometimes only one side is correct. Saying "just pick the middle for the middle's sake" is wrongheaded. Pick the middle when the middle is correct.
  • by mrscott ( 548097 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:06PM (#51503037)
    What is going to happen next is this: Obama will nominate someone and the Senate Republicans will do everything in their power to block it. Already, Cruz and Rubio have said as much -- that the next President should be the person to make the nomination, not Obama. Obama could nominate Rush Limbaugh and Senate Republicans would object. The only hope that there is for a reasonably speedy confirmation is for moderate -- or reasonable -- Republicans to, you know, do their jobs.
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:09PM (#51503053)

    I'm sorry he died. It does look like he lead a long life doing what he loved. He was a lucky man in that regard.

    I disagree with his policies strongly and hope we are able to replace him with a reasonable justice.

    On a sort of unrelated note-- he was only 79! So keep that in mind for your retirement plans. Despite having some of the best health care in the world, most of us are dead by 82. And 98.4% are dead by age 90.

    Try to retire early and take up a second career doing something you love doing. I love doing therapeutic massage for people in pain. I didn't hate being a project manager too much but it was unpleasant with long hours and holiday work and always just a way to make money.

    I thought I'd be drawing and painting more than I have. But reading Splat the Cat says "Sorry" to my grandsons is priceless.

    Scalia leaves behind a wife and nine children (unless some have died). Who knows how many grand children.

    He looks overweight in recent photos. That might be a side effect of medication (ala Jerry Lewis) or it may have been something that contributed to his early death. Keep in mind that puff pastry or extra gravy might cost you a few years with your grand kids. Not to mention change the course of the country.

    I mean wow. ~Ten more months and it might have been a conservative jurist who replaced him. Even with filibustering and so on, I think Obama will seat this one. If the conservatives actually filibuster for 10 months, I think the democrats should filibuster any conservative justice nominee until the end of the term.

    Fun Supreme Court Factoids.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/fa... [supremecourt.gov]

    Quote:
    Has anyone ever served as both President and Chief Justice?

    William Howard Taft is the only person to have served as both President of the United States (1909-1913) and Chief Justice of the United States (1921-1930).

    • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:23PM (#51503143)

      On a sort of unrelated note -- he was only 79! So keep that in mind for your retirement plans. Despite having some of the best health care in the world, most of us are dead by 82. And 98.4% are dead by age 90.

      If you're lucky. My wife Sue died at 61 in Jan 2006 (I was 42 then). Other than the brain tumor [wikipedia.org] that killed her just 7 weeks after diagnosis, she was in perfect health. She worked out with a trainer (cardio and weights) twice a week and walked several time a week. She was an English and Gifted Education teacher and was thinking of retiring in a few years.

      I'm very, very grateful for the 20 years we had together. Remember Sue... [tumblr.com]

    • by wanax ( 46819 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @05:02AM (#51504963)

      The best memory I have of Scalia is that when Stephen Colbert gave his infamous White House Correspondents Dinner address, Scalia was laughing his ass off when he was lampooned. I might not agree with the man, but he had a great life lived on his own terms.

  • by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:13PM (#51503079) Homepage

    We will never really know that he was not accidentally shot by Dick Cheney

  • by Hardhead_7 ( 987030 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:19PM (#51503115)
    "Textualist" is how Scalia portrayed himself, but if you look at Shelby County vs Holder, where the Supreme Court struck down most of the Voting Rights Act, Scalia's arguments basically came down to the idea that he was a mind-reader about what Congress really wanted to do, but was not politically able to do, never mind the text. Other times, he disregarded the clear intent of the lawmakers in favor of the strict textual reading. But he was hardly consistent. He was a textualist when the text favored him, he ignored it when it didn't. And maybe that's not unique to him - I'm not saying he was unique in that respect, but let's not pretend he was intellectually consistent.

    In the end, he was a Republican justice. Nothing more, nothing less.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed and his "Torture" isn't "cruel and unusual punishment because it isn't punishment" was a doosy of wishful thinking.

      He really didn't interpret the Constitution so much as listen to Rush Limberg on the radio that morning and spout whatever random thing had been said. They usually had nothing to do with the law.

      Todays news is a good thing for America.

    • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:54PM (#51503343)

      I agree. He claimed to be an original intent guy but frequently ruled by current conservative desires in conflict with the text.

      In reality, Scalia's interpretation of the constitution seemed to be "whatever Scalia wants-- Scalia gets."

    • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @01:45AM (#51504589)
      If you think that's bad, just look at his rulings in criminal justice. You have to be absolutely delusional to claim that the constitution text and founders intent allows the federal government to criminalize (i.e. enforced at gunpoint by a federal police force) a plant grown in your own home and used only by you done legally under state law (Gonzales v. Raich, decided 5-4 with Scalia concurring), an interpretation of the commerce clause that contradicted his previous opinions- when it involved guns he found the commerce clause meant something entirely different. He started with a partisan conclusion, then worked backwards to find support, frequently twisting logic beyond its breaking point.
  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:21PM (#51503127) Homepage
    Scalia was very controversial and much of the left will be likely happy about this. But he was a human being, and by most accounts he was a decent one and a smart one. His best friend on the Court was Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is one of the most liberal justices. We should all take a lesson from them on being civil and friendly even with those we disagree with.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:30PM (#51503193)

      Proof, again, that intelligence is overrated. Scalia was not a "decent" person. He used his power in ways that caused suffering and sometimes death And was not at all civil in his public pronouncements nor toward people outside his own social class.

      The courts' personal friendships may be a lesson that there is not really a very wide gap between the current justices on most things. They are all part of the same ruling elite and attended either Harvard or Yale law school and they all often agree even when lower court judges did not.

      • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @01:19AM (#51504505)
        they're very friendly, helpful and charitable with people who they think of as equals but anyone else it's open season on. It took me a long time to piece this behavior together since it's so nonsensical. One minute they'd be giving you the shirt off their back the next they'd be laying into the poor with all their might.

        The mark of a truly good man is that he cares for folks outside his class. Churchill seemed to be. Obama is definitely. Scalia was just another in a long line of borderline psychopaths who seem nice when they're around their own kind...
    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @09:23PM (#51503507)

      Scalia was very controversial and much of the left will be likely happy about this. But he was a human being, and by most accounts he was a decent one and a smart one. His best friend on the Court was Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is one of the most liberal justices. We should all take a lesson from them on being civil and friendly even with those we disagree with.

      I hated his politics and thought he caused tremendous harm through them, at the same time he very well may have been a kind, generous, and generally delightful person to know.

      I'm sad that he died though happy that he's left the court.

  • The existing docket (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgibson ( 131396 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:44PM (#51503277) Homepage

    There are several very important cases coming up for the supreme court, including immigration [scotusblog.com], abortion [scotusblog.com], and unions [scotusblog.com]. Any of these Supreme Court decisions that end up tied at 4-4 means that the lower court's decision will stand.

    • by Calibax ( 151875 ) * on Saturday February 13, 2016 @09:37PM (#51503567)

      The lower court decision will be affirmed with a 4-4 tie, however it applies only within the jurisdiction of the appeals court that heard the case and not to the country as a whole. Also such an affirmation will not set a precedent.

      If the justices feel strongly on an issue they can set the case for re-argument when there is a full court.

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