“An El Paso source close to Supreme Justice Antonin Scalia [reports] the 79-year-old died in his sleep last night after a day of quail hunting at Cibolo Creek Ranch outside of Marfa, Texas,” kvia.com reports. “Scalia was the longest-serving current Justice on the Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.” Our condolences to his family and friends. Justice Scalia was a pro-gun rights advocate. He delivered the majority opinion in the Heller decision affirming the individual right to keep and bear arms, joined by . . .
What happens now: an enormous political confrontation. The President and his allies will nominate a replacement sympathetic to their statist ambitions, including curtailing Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Republican Senators will fight any such appointment tooth and nail. Publicly.
With Scalia’s death the court is four vs. four on gun rights, with significant conflicting lower court cases on the right to bear arms outside the home, “assault weapon” bans and more clamoring for clarification. At the risk of seeming indelicate, other Justices aren’t exactly spring chickens, either.
The big question: will a “compromise” candidate mouth support for the court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald and then, once installed, change course? I’m looking at you, Justice Sotomayor. Watch this space.