The U.S. Marshal’s Service in Washington confirmed Scalia’s death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of South Texas.
The service’s spokeswoman, Donna Sellers, says Scalia had retired for the evening and was found dead Saturday morning when he did not appear for breakfast.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey released the following statement in wake of Scalia’s death.
“Justice Antonin Scalia was a true patriot and a fierce defender of the United States Constitution. His unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the founding principles of our country was an inspiration to those of us devoted to the expansion of freedom. I was honored to visit with him just last year on his trip to Arizona, and today, my heart and prayers go to his family. While we mourn his death, his wisdom lives on. Because of Justice Scalia, Americans live in a more free and just nation. May he rest in peace.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also released a statement following the news:
“Justice Antonin Scalia was 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. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans. We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right and to get it to embrace his “originalist” view of judging after his 1986 appointment by President Ronald Reagan.
His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights was his crowning moment in more than 30 years on the bench.
He was a strong advocate for privacy in favoring restrictions on police searches and protections for defendants’ rights. 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.
Scalia’s impact on the court was muted by his seeming disregard for moderating his views to help build consensus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.