EL PASO - Tx - Over the weekend, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on a hunting trip in Texas. The 79- year old Scalia may have had a heart attack in the night while at the Cibolo Creek Ranch outside of Marfa.
His body was taken to a funeral home in El Paso.
Scalia, appointed by Ronald Reagan, served 30 years on the court. During his tenure, votes were largely split 5 to 4. His empty chair could now cause a shift in the balance of power. With a court likely to become split, and deliver 4 to 4 votes, decisions from lower courts will stand.
Scalia`s strong stance against abortion and gay rights helped bring social issues to the forefront of the court.
While supporters of the conservative judge mourn his death, and flags fly at half staff over the Supreme Court, the feud over who will take his place has just begun.
President Obama called Justice Scalia a "brilliant legal mind" and promised to fulfill his constitutional responsibilities by nominating a successor, saying he expects the majority Republican Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing.
Republicans see it another way.
"I think it`s up to Mitch McConnell and everyone else to stop it, it`s called delay, delay delay," said Republican candidate for president Donald Trump.
Scalia is survived by his wife, nine children and 28 grandchildren.
President Obama is left to preserve justice with a federal-sized fight.