Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia found dead at West Texas resort

TEXAS (KUSI) – Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday at a West Texas luxury resort.

According to My San Antonio News, Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch and arrived Friday with a group of people.

When he didn’t come to breakfast Saturday morning, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found him. 

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was among those notified about Scalia’s death.

"I was told it was this morning," Biery said of Scalia’s death. "It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how," he 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."

The U.S. Marshal Service, the Presidio County sheriff and the FBI were involved in the investigation.

Federal official said there was no evidence of foul play and it appeared that Scalia died of natural causes, according to My San Antonio News.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday afternoon, calling Scalia a man of God, a patriot and an "unwavering defender of the written Constitution."

"He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution," Abbott said. "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."

Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, according to Biography.com

Dean Thomas Guernsey of Thomas Jefferson School of Law issued the following statement on the passing of Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. The Justice had been scheduled to participate in Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Study Abroad program taking place June 26 – July 21, 2016 in Nice, France. This would have been the fifth time that Justice Scalia would have taught in the Nice Study Abroad Program.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. His service to Thomas Jefferson School of Law contributed to the betterment of our students’ education. Our students shared inspiring stories of learning Constitutional Law from Justice Scalia, a leading intellectual on the subject. The legal education community has lost a great friend.”

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