Scalia’s body returned to Virginia; debate heats up over Supreme Court replacement

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 14: A makeshift memorial for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is seen at the U.S. Supreme Court, February 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was at a Texas Ranch Saturday morning when he died at the age of 79. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


WASHINGTON (AP) — The body of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been returned to Virginia.

A judge in Texas says Scalia died of natural causes and no autopsy was necessary.

Scalia’s colleagues and others praised his brilliance and grieved his death.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she and Scalia “were best buddies.”

Debate heats up over Scalia replacement

WASHINGTON (AP) —As flags fly half-staff at the White House and Supreme Court, the debate heats up over when a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should be nominated.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the next president should nominate someone.

But the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that McConnell is “certainly ignoring the Constitution.”


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  • Amanda Carney

    Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that McConnell is “certainly ignoring the Constitution.”

    Like Obama has never done that before.

    • Andrew

      You got that right! :)

      Bottom line here is that the Senate is in charge, and is well within its rights to delay hearings until it sees fit, to reject any and/or all of the president’s nominees it feels are not well-suited, and to hold up the process as long as it wants to do so. The problem is that the SCOTUS absolutely *will* convene in October, with or without a new Justice. So if the Senate has to decide whether it would prefer it to meet as it currently is, one Justice short, or whether it would be better to install one of Obama’s nominees. At issue are the specific cases facing the court in that October convening. Would it be better to allow the SCOTUS as is to rule on those cases if the return on that is that you can replace Scalia with a conservative by delaying? Or are these cases so important that you need to approve the most conservative of Obama’s nominees in order to at least have a shot at a fair ruling on these particular cases?

      The difficulty here is that the SCOTUS, and the Judicial appointment process, is supposed to be apolitical. it is supposed to be isolated from the political process. Yet it is not. Nor has it ever been. However, if Congress actually functioned as it is supposed to function, as an effective and professional legislative body rather than as two feuding families, most of the SCOTUS cases currently on the docket would not even exist. And so now we find ourselves as a country in a situation where the most important decision our country has faced in decades will now be decided by the most disfunctional part of our federal government…Congress.

      You reap what you sow.

  • Andrew

    Here is what I don’t get…Scalia was found with a pillow over his head, according to the man who found him. Yet everyone is saying “natural causes” and “no autopsy necessary”. I would think that simply for the sake of national security, highly placed government officials should be given autopsies as a matter of course, and certainly in the case where signs indicate that perhaps something was not as “natural” as everyone says it was. In short, a pillow over his head is not what I would call “natural”, and I am stumped as to why everyone else seems to think it is.