America just got real interesting.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a leading conservative voice on the high court, has died at the age of 79, a government source and a family friend told CNN on Saturday.
Scalia died in his sleep during a visit to Texas.
A government official said Scalia went to bed Friday night and told friends he wasn't feeling well. Saturday morning, he didn't get up for breakfast. And the group he was with for a hunting trip left without him.
Someone at the ranch went in to check on him and found him unresponsive.
First of all, as wrong and as awful as Scalia's politics were as a jurist, he was a human being who had a family, a wife and nine children who lost a husband and father. "Great and terrible things, but great nonetheless" as they say.
Second of all, having said that, there is no way Republicans are going to let Obama nominate anyone to replace him. GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell's statement today:
"Today our country lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as Americans. Justice Scalia's fidelity to the Constitution was rivaled only by the love of his family: his wife Maureen his nine children, and his many grandchildren. Through the sheer force of his intellect and his legendary wit, this giant of American jurisprudence almost singlehandedly revived an approach to constitutional interpretation that prioritized the text and original meaning of the Constitution. Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Scalia family.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
No matter what you believe about Scalia, or Obama, think about the last time a Senate leader said that a sitting President had no right to name a replacement justice to the Supreme Court.
You're up, Mr. President.