From Trussville Tribune staff reports
AUSTIN, Texas –Texas governor Greg Abbott has conformed in a statement on Saturday that United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died.
The governor’s statement called Scalia “a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law.”
Scalia, a Ronald Reagan appointee to the high court in 1986, was the staunchest of the conservative justices. He was 79-years-old.
“He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution,” Abbott said in his statement. “His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans. 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.”
According to multiple media reports Scalia died in his sleep during a quail hunting trip to Marfa, Tex. Scalia had been the longest serving justice.
He was appointed by Reagan to the Supreme Court to fill the associate justice seat vacated when Justice William Rehnquist was elevated to Chief Justice.
Scalia faced little or no opposition and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, becoming the first Italian-American justice to serve on the Supreme Court.