Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, was found dead at a West Texas Ranch today [February 13, 2016].
The 79-year-old was at the ranch attending a party reportedly held on Friday night and apparently passed away early Saturday morning from natural causes (his body was found in his room, according to reports).
As the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court, Scalia was the Senior Associate Justice. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia has been described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court’s conservative wing.
Born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1936, Scalia served on the Court for nearly thirty years, during which time he established a solidly conservative voting record and ideology—including opposing affirmative action and other policies that treated minorities as groups.
Scalia generally voted to strike down laws which made distinctions by race, gender, or sexual orientation. He was once described as “the intellectual anchor of the court’s conservative majority,” by J.J. Goldberg of The Jewish Daily Forward.
Scalia leaves behind nine children and his wife, Maureen McCarthy.