Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dead at 79

(AP) - Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, died Saturday. He was 79. The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a

News 12 Staff

Feb 14, 2016, 4:26 AM

Updated 3,025 days ago

Share:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dead at 79
(AP) - Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, died Saturday. He was 79.
The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas. Spokeswoman Donna Sellers said Scalia had retired the previous evening and was found dead in the morning after he did not appear for breakfast.
Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right after his 1986 appointment by President Ronald Reagan. He also advocated tirelessly in favor of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers.
Scalia's impact on the court was muted by his seeming disregard for moderating his views to help build consensus, although he was held in deep affection by his ideological opposites Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Scalia and Ginsburg shared a love of opera. He persuaded Kagan to join him on hunting trips.
His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights drew heavily on the history of the Second Amendment and was his crowning moment on the bench.
He could be a strong supporter of privacy in cases involving police searches and defendants' rights. Indeed, Scalia often said he should be the "poster child" for the criminal defense bar.
But he also voted consistently to let states outlaw abortions, to allow a closer relationship between government and religion, to permit executions and to limit lawsuits.
He was in the court's majority in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, which effectively decided the presidential election for Republican George W. Bush. "Get over it," Scalia would famously say at speaking engagements in the ensuing years whenever the topic arose.
Bush later named one of Scalia's sons, Eugene, to an administration job, but the Senate refused to confirm him. Eugene Scalia served as the Labor Department solicitor temporarily in a recess appointment.
A smoker of cigarettes and pipes, Scalia enjoyed baseball, poker, hunting and the piano. He was an enthusiastic singer at court Christmas parties and other musical gatherings, and once appeared on stage with Ginsburg as a Washington Opera extra.
Ginsburg once said that Scalia was "an absolutely charming man, and he can make even the most sober judge laugh." She said that she urged her friend to tone down his dissenting opinions "because he'll be more effective if he is not so polemical. I'm not always successful."


More from News 12
2:37
Storm Watch: Severe storms possible with heavy rain, strong wind and hail across New York City

Storm Watch: Severe storms possible with heavy rain, strong wind and hail across New York City

0:24
Bruce Springsteen postpones 2 more shows due to vocal issues

Bruce Springsteen postpones 2 more shows due to vocal issues

1:34
NYPD: Knife-wielding man who charged at officers fatally shot in Bushwick

NYPD: Knife-wielding man who charged at officers fatally shot in Bushwick

1:34
NYPD: Armed man struck by unmarked police vehicle in Brownsville

NYPD: Armed man struck by unmarked police vehicle in Brownsville

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New York City

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New York City

Wennberg scores in OT, Rangers top Panthers 5-4 to take lead in East finals

Wennberg scores in OT, Rangers top Panthers 5-4 to take lead in East finals

0:27
FDNY: Woman faces murder, arson charges following deadly Bed-Stuy building fire

FDNY: Woman faces murder, arson charges following deadly Bed-Stuy building fire

1:34
Crown Heights double dutch team heads to world championships next month

Crown Heights double dutch team heads to world championships next month

1:58
Mayor’s office: Burglars arrested, massive illegal cannabis distributor busted in Brooklyn

Mayor’s office: Burglars arrested, massive illegal cannabis distributor busted in Brooklyn

1:58
Loved ones say goodbye to 88-year-old grandmother killed in East Flatbush fire

Loved ones say goodbye to 88-year-old grandmother killed in East Flatbush fire

1:55
Prospect Park Zoo, damaged by Tropical Storm Ophelia, reopens after 240 days

Prospect Park Zoo, damaged by Tropical Storm Ophelia, reopens after 240 days

1:32
Bronx Fashion Week premieres Decade of Dreams at Baychester show

Bronx Fashion Week premieres Decade of Dreams at Baychester show

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

0:34
NYPD: 1 killed, 1 injured following double shooting in Williamsburg

NYPD: 1 killed, 1 injured following double shooting in Williamsburg

1:19
Bronx Historical Society offers Mott Haven walking tour, screening of ‘Up Jump The Boogie’

Bronx Historical Society offers Mott Haven walking tour, screening of ‘Up Jump The Boogie’

1:55
Authorities: 17-year-old arrested for bringing semi-automatic gun to high school in Brooklyn

Authorities: 17-year-old arrested for bringing semi-automatic gun to high school in Brooklyn

1:31
Brooklyn Bridge celebrates 141st birthday

Brooklyn Bridge celebrates 141st birthday

1:43
 Brooklyn chef offers tip to keep you safe while grilling this season

Brooklyn chef offers tip to keep you safe while grilling this season

1:30
Luna Park kicks off Memorial Day weekend with new go-kart attraction 'Electric Eden Raceway'

Luna Park kicks off Memorial Day weekend with new go-kart attraction 'Electric Eden Raceway'

1:05
Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview

Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview