Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, setting up a major political showdown between President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled Senate over who will replace him just months before a presidential election.
“On behalf of the court and retired justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement on Saturday, calling Scalia, 79, an “extraordinary individual and jurist.”
Scalia’s death was first reported by the San Antonio News-Express, who said he had apparently died of natural causes while visiting a luxury resort in West Texas.
Obama, who is traveling in California, extended his condolences, and the White House said he would have more to say about Scalia’s death later on Saturday. The Supreme Court lowered its U.S. flag in honor of Scalia on Saturday. Read more