This past weekend, America endured a grievous loss when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – 79, pro-life, Christian, Constitution originalist, conservative in every sense of the word, and a towering intellect – was discovered dead.
Scalia was a visitor at the Cibolo Creek Ranch destination in West Texas, apparently as part of a private group of about 40 individuals. He showed up at the resort on Friday. When he did not show up for breakfast Saturday, someone went to his room to check on him and discovered him dead.
Many of us were informed Scalia had passed away in his sleep on the night of February 12 or in the early morning of February 13, 2016, of natural causes – a heart attack. (New York Post)
The “someone” who discovered him dead has been acknowledged as being John Poindexter, 71, Houston businessman and the owner of the 30,000-acre Cibolo Creek Ranch. But get this: Poindexter stated he discovered Scalia dead, on the bed, WITH A PILLOW COVERING HIS HEAD.
Poindexter detailed Scalia as “animated and engaged” in the course of dinner on Friday night: “He was seated near me and I had a chance to observe him. He was very entertaining. But about 9 p.m. he mentioned, ‘it’s been a long day and a long week, I want to get some sleep’.” Everyone was in bed by 10 p.m.
Around 8:30 the following morning (Saturday), Poindexter proceeded to go to Scalia’s room to wake him up. The room’s door was locked and Scalia did not answer. So Poindexter went for an outing with a friend of Scalia who had came with the Supreme Court justice from Washington.
3 hours later, Poindexter came back and, in his words, “We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. Everything was in perfect order. He was in his pajamas, peacefully, in bed. His bed clothes were unwrinkled. He was lying very restfully. It appeared like he had not quite woke up from a nap.”
HELLO THERE? WHO NAPS WITH A PILLOW COVERING ONE’S HEAD???
Scalia did not have a pulse and his body was undoubtedly cold. After consulting with a physician at a hospital in Alpine, Poindexter determined resuscitation would have been ineffective, He then called federal authorities, at first experiencing a sequence of answering services because he was calling on a weekend: “Ultimately they became available and handled it t superbly. They flew in by helicopter. They told me to secure the ranch, which I did until this morning.”
Scalia’s body was relocated to the Sunset Funeral Home in El Paso, about 3 hours away, arriving at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Spokesman Chris Lujan mentioned the funeral home was chosen by Scalia’s family and at the advice of a family friend. The El Paso County medical examiner’s office stated they had not received any details regarding the possibility of carrying out an autopsy.
It took several hours for authorities in remote West Texas to locate a justice of the peace – Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara, who “pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without viewing the body – which is allowable under Texas law – and without ordering an autopsy.”
Guevara explained she had spoken to law enforcement officials at the scene, who guaranteed her “there were no signs of foul play,” as well as Scalia’s doctor in Washington, who explained that Scalia had struggled from a host of chronic conditions. Guevara is waiting for a statement from Scalia’s physician that will be added to his death certificate when it is issued later this week. Guevara also mentioned reports that Scalia had passed away of a heart attack are not true, suggesting that “He died of natural causes.”
A office manager at the Sunset Funeral Home where Scalia’s body was taken mentioned that his family made it obvious they did not want an autopsy.
Scalia had been set to rule on a number of very controversial and divisive cases before the Supreme Court, now evenly split 4-4 between conservatives and liberals:
Abortion: Next month, SCOTUS will hear the most significant abortion case since 1992, centering on Texas, on whether states can legally impose restrictions on abortion that do not put an “undue burden” on access to the procedure.
Obamacare: SCOTUS is expected to rule on Zubik v. Burwell, on whether Obamacare’s requirement that employers must provide female employees with no-cost access to birth control, including abortifacients, violates religious nonprofits’ religious freedom. The plaintiffs include the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Unions: Scalia was the swing vote in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case challenging the legality of “fair share” fees that unions charge nonmembers to cover costs associated with collective bargaining.
Affirmative Action: In Fisher v. University of Texas, on the use of affirmative action and race in college admissions, Scalia had argued that affirmative action shortchanges minorities by putting them into an environment where they cannot perform as well as other students.
Separation of church and state: In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley, on whether religious schools can continue to be denied publicly-funded grants, Scalia had argued that, if a democratic majority wants to, banning state lawmakers from funding religious schools would impede the free exercise of religion.
Climate change: One of Scalia’s last official acts as a justice was to deliver a large dent in Obama’s climate legacy, providing one of five votes to stay the Clean Power Plan, which regulates carbon emissions from power plants.
Immigration: In April, SCOTUS will argue a challenge to Obama’s use of executive orders to allow up to 5 million more illegals to apply for quasi-legal status and work permits.
Gun rights: The National Rifle Association maintains that Scalia’s death puts gun rights in jeopardy because, given the ages of SCOTUS judges, the next president will have a chance at choosing four judges. The NRA plans to spend over $20 million on the upcoming election to push gun rights. “In my view, all the chips are on the table in this election because the impact is who gets the Supreme Court,” said the NRA’s chief, Allan D. Cors in an interview with Secrets this month.