America has lost a great man, and it’s doubtful that anyone realized the true importance of Antonin Scalia until his shocking death. With what’s at stake for the country, he could easily be considered the most important man in America. And yet, he’s gone, and the circumstances involving his death and how procedures were handled were anything but cut and dry.
As The Washington Post reports, the level of confusion in the hours following the death of Scalia has led to more questions than answers.
Yet as details of Scalia’s sudden death trickled in Sunday, it appeared that the hours afterward were anything but orderly. The man known for his elegant legal opinions and profound intellect was found dead in his room at a hunting resort by the resort’s owner, who grew worried when Scalia didn’t appear at breakfast Saturday morning.
It then took hours for authorities in remote West Texas to find a justice of the peace, officials said Sunday. When they did, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body — which is permissible under Texas law — and without ordering an autopsy.
MySanAntonio.com reports that “Scalia was animated and engaged during dinner Friday night,” but “just hours later, he would be found dead of apparent natural causes, which media outlets were reporting Sunday was a heart attack.”
He was seated near me and I had a chance to observe him. He was very entertaining. But about 9 p.m. he said, ‘it’s been a long day and a long week, I want to get some sleep,” recalled Houston businessman John Poindexter, who owns the 30,000-acre luxury ranch.
When Poindexter tried to awaken Scalia about 8:30 the next morning, the judge’s door was locked and he did not answer. Three hours later, Poindexter returned after an outing, with a friend of Scalia who had come from Washington with him.
“We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled,” said Poindexter.
Some have questioned why a person of Scalia’s rank and importance did not have security with him. CBSNews.com reports that the U.S. Marshals Service released a statement addressing that issue.
“The U.S. Marshals Service routinely coordinates with the U.S. Supreme Court police to provide security for the Justices, however, Justices may decline USMS protection,” the statement read. “In this instance, the USMS detail was declined for the personal trip to the hunting resort in Texas, so USMS personnel were not present at the ranch. Deputy U.S. Marshals from the Western District of Texas responded immediately upon notification of Justice Scalia’s passing.”
The fact that so much confusion in the hours following Scalia’s death exists only fuels the fire of conspiracy in an already tragic situation. Scalia was 79 years old with a history of “chronic conditions,” but why not be as thorough as possible? Scalia was the conservative rock of the Supreme Court. With Barack Obama currently in control of the next Supreme Court appointment, another liberal justice would mean a complete change in the direction of the country. We’ve already been told that gay marriage is a constitutional right, even though the Constitution doesn’t address it. We’ve been told by the Supreme Court that it’s ok to force people to buy health insurance. Scalia opposed all of this nonsense, and now he’s suddenly gone. All we are left with is shock and sadness and the realization of just how important he was.