Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who served on the nation's highest court since 1986, died on Saturday at the age of 79.
The justice passed away due to natural causes at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a luxury resort in West Texas, federal authorities told the San Antonio Express-News. According to the paper, Scalia attended a function on Friday and was found after failing to appear for breakfast the next morning.
Click through reactions to Justice Antonin Scalia's death:
Gov. Gregg Abbott released a statement calling Scalia "a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution."
— Evan Smith (@evanasmith) February 13, 2016
"I was told it was this morning," U.S. District Judge Fred Biery told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it's pretty vague right now as to how," he said. "My reaction is it's very unfortunate. It's unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we're in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected."
Images of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:
According to Politico's Shane Goldmacher, deaths in office are rare for Supreme Court justices. The last such death, that of William Rehnquist, occurred in 2005.
The last Supreme Court justice to die in office was William Rehnquist in 2005. It had been 50 years before that.
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 13, 2016
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