R.I.P. Justice Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia brilliantly interpreted the United States Constitution.

His death is a loss to all Americans.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse:

“A tireless defender of the rule of law, Justice Scalia’s precise thinking, sharp wit, and unwavering commitment to American constitutionalism will be remembered for generations. We are grateful for his service and heartbroken at this sudden loss. Melissa and I uphold the Scalia family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer:

“Our nation mourns the loss of a brilliant legal mind and selfless servant of the law. Justice Scalia lived a life dedicated to preserving and upholding the rights granted by our Constitution. Bruce and I join all Nebraskans in offering our condolences and prayers for the Scalia family.”

Iowa Senator, and Senate Judiciary Chairman, Chuck Grassley:

“He was a person who interpreted the Constitution to its original intent, and that he’ll be badly missed for that reason, and he leaves quite a legacy of scholarship.”


FYI, from an old Slate Magazine article, here is what happens when there is a 4-4 tie in the Supreme Court, which would be the case until a new Justice is confirmed:

Although rare, 4-4 ties are hardly unheard-of—justices do recuse themselves from time to time. A split decision effectively upholds the ruling of the lower court (presumably a state supreme court). In the event of such a tie, the court typically issues what’s known as a per curiam decision. The opinion in such a decision is issued under the court’s name, as opposed to consisting of a majority and a minority opinion. Justices, however, may attach dissenting opinions to the per curiam decision if they like—as happened in Bush v. Gore.

When a 4-4 deadlock does occur, the case is not deemed to have set any sort of precedent. Tradition holds that the court’s per curiam opinion in such ties is usually very, very terse, often consisting of no more than a single sentence: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”


  1. Anonymous says:

    Justice Scalia was appointed by Ronald Reagan. Your accolades thus belong to the Gipper.

    Scalia would be squat-zero in history books today if not for being appointed by the 33 year Democrat activist, union president Ronald Reagan, who GOP party bosses absolutely hated. Reagan had to drag the GOP kicking and screaming to success. Today they are wrong about Trump.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Anonymous, Since Reagan also appointed Posner, who disagreed with Scalia on method, do we praise RWR for both or one or the other? And Reagan appointed Kennedy.

  2. Street Weeper says:

    McConnell says the Senate should… Supreme Court… nominee… yawn.

    Mitch McConnell endorsed Rand Paul for President. So let’s all listen to Mitch bitch.

    It’s enough to make a House Speaker weep.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sasse has spent the last year going to 2 Koch brother events, traveling the country raising money, talking to conservative talk radio, speaking to think tanks, writing opeds with Demint and giving college class lectures on the senate floor to an empty chamber. He says senate needs honest debating. So why doesn’t he? He says go big or go home. Where is his solution to obamacare? What has he done? Tired of all the ordered liberty post constitutional talk. Such a disappointment.

    • bynd says:

      Google Ben Sasse, obamacare.

      Plus he had a plan on his election web site. Anything else I can point you to to help research the obvious?

    • Sparkles says:

      Congratulations Anonymous @4:35.

      Finally, insight and honesty.

      But, you forgot Ben’s moronic (inebriated?) twitter feats, his frolics about the state of Iowa on behalf of ethically challenged excreTED Cruz and Marco’s Rubio, and the fact that he flew to San Bernardino to shoot a 2 minute Youtube video hoping to wring a little personal political gain out of the deaths of 14 Americans.
      Apparently Trump’s xenophobia is an offense too great for Ben to bear, but as long you’ve got the soft glow of a candle memoriam for dead Americans as a backdrop, bashing the muslim faith and our President is a political coupe worth flying across the country to accomplish.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ben Sasse, Obamacare. And just what bills has he introduced to accomplish what he outlined in this big plan of his?Nothing. His primary side show was all about ACA and then he hid in the general because we all know he didn’t really have an opponent. I fell for it. Not any more. Go home.

    • bynd says:

      Just to bad you don’t understand how it works. But such is your life. As the disappointed one, maybe you should go home and lick your wounds. I’m just fine thank you:)

  5. Pete says:

    So sad that Justice Scalia has passed.

    Also sad that it only took about an hour after I heard the news before I saw a Democrat taking pleasure in his death on facebook and about another hour after that when I saw one of our party wackjobs proliferating a conspiracy theory. If you need me, I’ll be slamming my head against my desk.

    • Sparkles says:

      And it was only an hour after the confirmation of Scalia’s death that Mitch McConnell publicly announced Republicans would reject the President’s constitutional right to fill a Supreme Court vacancy before he’s even named a nominee.

      This is a President duly elected, twice, both times by significant margins.

      Of course should they fail to confirm a new justice during Obama’s term, the GOP faces the very real possibility that HRC, along with a Democrat controlled Senate, will enjoy the freedom of carte blanche authority.

      • bynd says:

        Now trying to go against the people’s will who elected a majority in the House and in the Senate in the last couple of elections so he could be reined in. The latest election is the one that counts for mandates and messages I believe.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bynd ,The POTUS is the POTUS. The power of appointment is his. He has a couple of potential appointees who have been confirmed to Courts of Appeals by near unanimous votes. The Senate Rs would look silly rejecting them for SCOTUS. This no power to appoint in the last year in office is simply cover. Theory that Constitutional powers of the presidency change with midterm election results is unsupportable. When Bush II appointment to the bench were booked by Ds, the R theory was that the Constitution required an up or down vote. Now they have created a weird exception to their old theory. Truth is its all politics on both sides.

      • Bluejay says:


        I’m thinking Judge Jane Kelly of the 8th Cicuit and Iowa. An Iowa first. Also a classmate of Barack’s at Harvard. Also a lawyer who actually tried a case. About time.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bynd,Judge Kelly is an example of a group of Appeals Court judges recently confirmed by near unanimous votes as NYT noted. She does not have a long record of opinions which helps. The lists of potential nominees fascinating. The politics more so. I am just a watcher now.

  6. bynd says:

    If I read it right, the Constitution gives the President the first move by nominating some one for such a position. They are then appointed only after the Senate agrees.

    So there goes Sparkles again, off into the wild blue yonder to once again spout a truth that is truth to him only. Sparkles, you must have a fantastic fantasy life. I just wish you wouldn’t be so public about it.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bynd debate is about voting to advise and consent to aPOTUS nomination, no one is suggesting Senate is required to advise and consent, that would be idiotic.

      • bynd says:

        Maybe it is just semantics but I believe the word you used that POTUS “appoints”. Appoints would indicate that it was a one step thing.

        And sparkles was pointing out that BO has been elected twice. Insinuating a popular mandate.

        Just trying to clear up two possible misconceptions at one time.


    • Sparkles says:

      Hey bynd,

      I’m good with the GOP’s plans for continued obstruction.
      Let er rip.

      And on January 21, 2017, President Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can then skip the light fandango, maybe even turn cartwheels ‘cross the floor, as they select their dream justice.

      Speaking of cartwheels, the Republicans one and only option at that point, to borrow a phrase from a famous modern figure of the law:
      Respect my authoritah!!

  7. huskerred says:

    The only real question is: Will the Republicans cave on the Supreme Court nominee issue. Past track record shows they will.

    Country and Constitution are hanging by a thread…

  8. bynd says:

    The only real question is, will independents vote to put one party in charge of all three. HRC vs Congress and Senate? As huskered states, it all depends on whether or not the Repubs cave. Or maybe as a show of good will, if it is HRC, she will nominate a moderate. However, I don’t count Bernie out. The Republican split is nothing compared to the age split for Dems. Which is pushing the Dems over the ledge of who can give the most freebies. Something the older independents won’t support. Will the Dem youngsters vote? You old, white folks don’t have a clue.

  9. bynd says:

    oops. forgot, will independents vote to put some one in charge who will pick a SCOTUS candidate who is left of even Bernie? It would be a big strike against the Dems if BO doesn’t get his way now.

  10. repenting lawyer says:

    Bynd, Appoint is common parlance but you are quite correct that it is not an appointment until Senate agrees, that is POTUS nominated.

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