Antonin Gregory Scalia (March 11, 1936 – February 13, 2016) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death in 2016. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 1986, Scalia was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court's conservative wing.
Scalia served on the Court for nearly thirty years, during which he established a solidly conservative voting record and ideology, advocating textualism in statuary interpretation and originalism in constitutional interpretation.
He was a strong defender of the powers of the executive branch, believing presidential power should be paramount in many areas. He opposed affirmative action and other policies that treated minorities as special groups. He filed separate opinions in many cases and often castigated the Court's majority in his minority opinions using scathing language.
Scalia described himself as an originalist, meaning that he interpreted the Constitution of the United States as it would have been understood when it was adopted. According to Scalia in 2008, "It's what did the words mean to the people who ratified the Bill of Rights or who ratified the Constitution."
Scalia was a textualist in statutory interpretation, believing that the ordinary meaning of the statute should govern. In 1998, Scalia vociferously had opposed the idea of a living constitution, or the power of the judiciary to modify the meaning of constitutional provisions to adapt them to changing times. Scalia warned that if one accepted that constitutional standards should evolve with a maturing society, "the risk of assessing evolving standards is that it is all too easy to believe that evolution has culminated in one's own views."
Biographical information from wikipedia.
He is survived by his wife Maureen, nine children, and 28 grandchildren. Prayers for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his family.
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