Antonin Scalia found dead
Image: AP

UPDATE: Ranch Owner: Scalia Found Dead With a ‘Pillow Over His Head’

Senior Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes at a ranch in West Texas Saturday morning.

Scalia, 79, was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, and was the longest-serving current justice.

The San Antonio Express-News reported that Scalia arrived at the Cibolo Creek Ranch Friday and “attended a private party with about 40 people.” When he did not show up for breakfast Saturday morning, “a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was notified of Scalia’s death Saturday morning.

“It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” Biery 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.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday praising Scalia for being “the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution.”

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.