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Originalist Gangster, A Eulogy: Supreme Court loses one of its most conservative justices

Courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States / Wikimedia
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Feb. 13

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Antonin Scalia, age 79, was found dead on Feb 13, 2016 at Cibolo Creek Ranch in Shafter, Texas. After a long day hunting, he retired early, saying that he felt ill. The next day, the party with whom he had gone on vacation found him unresponsive in his room. 
Though the cause of death was not immediately released, a spokeswoman for the United States Marshal Service has since said that there was nothing to indicate the death was the result of anything other than natural causes.
Justice Scalia, arguably the most conservative justice of the SCOTUS, advocated a philosophy of constitutional interpretation known as originalism which supports remaining as true as possible to the originally written spirit of the Constitution. He consistently argued in court in accordance with this philosophy. 
Even when his ethos led him to argue positions with which his fellow justices disagreed, they found it impossible not to be completely charmed by his wit and eloquence in writing his opinions. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the most liberal sitting justice and Scalia’s dear friend said, “I disagreed with most of what he said, but I loved the way he said it.” 
For his part, when Scalia was asked about their aisle-crossing friendship, he said, “What’s not to like [about Ginsburg]? Except her views on the law, of course.”
I did not agree with everything Scalia wrote. His opinions on the rights of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay were seriously flawed. Additionally, when the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas declared anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional, the dissent which Scalia wrote was a bit of a train wreck.
However, Scalia was a stalwart defender of separation of powers and the right to bear arms as well as a First Amendment badass. In 1990, he wrote the Court’s opinion on striking down a St. Paul, Minnesota, hate speech ordinance in the case of R.A.V. v. St. Paul, a case regarding the burning of a cross.
Scalia said, “Let there be no mistake about our belief that burning a cross in someone’s front yard is reprehensible. But St. Paul has sufficient means at its disposal to prevent such behavior without adding the First Amendment to the fire.”
Shortly after news of Scalia’s death, controversy arose from Republican members of Congress who called for any appointment President Obama makes to be blocked until after the election. This is because the timing of Scalia’s passing threatens the political balance of the SCOTUS which almost always has three conservative, liberal and moderate justices. 
There is still no word as to whether the irony of such a block which, though technically within the bounds of the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution is clearly not within the original spirit of the Constitution, has been lost on those calling for the block.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said about his colleague, “He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served.” Official condolences have also been offered by President Obama; presidential nominees Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders and others.
Justice Scalia is survived by his wife and nine children.

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