Supreme Court Justice Scalia Has Died At 79

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has died at the age of 79, a government source and a family friend told CNN on Saturday. The justice apparently died of natural causes after embarking on quail hunting at Cibolo Creek Ranch, Texas on Friday. He went to bed, but did not show up for breakfast the following morning. He was found unresponsive in his room.

"On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family," reported Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. in a statement.

Scalia, who was a conservative, was the longest-serving current justice on the Supreme Court. He was nominated to the court by President Reagan and took his seat September 26, 1986. His passing has spark political battle as many are wondering if President Obama will nominate a liberal successor as the new Supreme Court Justice.

Obama said Saturday he would nominate a successor "in due time," however, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the next administration should make the appointment.

Whoever is nominated for the high court vacancy has a big role to play on the constitutional laws the country. We hope Scalia's replacement would be someone whose decisions would be favorable to all. Right now there are 8 justices remaining. They need 1 more to complete the original 9.

Scalia is survived by his wife of several years, 9 children and grandchildren.

Late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo taken October 8, 2015

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