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Antonin Scalia's Death

Antonin Scalia

The life and death of Antonin Scalia:

He spent thirty years on the U.S Supreme Court and was considered a bedrock supporter of conservative interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. His unexpected passing led to a Constitutional kerfuffle of its own, reigniting a harsh debate over whether a lame duck President should nominate a successor.

Antonin Gregory Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey to an Italian immigrant couple. His father Salvatore ended up in the Ivy League, a graduate student at Columbia University and professor of Romance Languages at Brooklyn College. His mother, the former Catherine Panaro, worked as an elementary school teacher.

When Antonin was three his family moved to the Elmhurst section of Queens in the City of New York where he attended the local public school before moving on to Xavier High School in Manhattan on a scholarship. Scalia later attended Georgetown University and studied at the Harvard Law School.

He began his legal career at a Cleveland law firm and later became a law professor at the University of Virginia.

Scalia was offered a seat on Washington D. C.'s Court of appeals by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and by 1986, Reagan nominated him, and Scalia's was approved, by the U.S Senate for a seat on the Supreme Court.

Antonin Scalia getting sworn in to the US Supreme Court

He stood out in conservative decisions, like arguing there's no constitutional right to an abortion…as he explained on CNN.

Scalia also voted to strike down laws making distinctions for gender, race or sexual orientation, supporting the constitutionality of the death penalty, support for the gun rights in the second amendment and opposition to the Affordable Care Act of 2009 and Gay Marriage.

Antonin Scalia quote on gay marriage

Scalia died in his sleep in the overnight period of February 12 through the 13 while on a hunting trip to Texas.

Newspaper report of Antonin Scalia death

In the days after Scalia's unexpected death, his spot on the Supreme Court was draped in black.

Antonin Scalia seat on Supreme Court draped in black after his death

And on the Friday after, the nation's elite and everyday alike had their chance to pay their respects as his body lay in repose in the Great Hall of the U.S. Supreme Court building.

Antonin Scalia service

President Barack Obama, who'd argued against the same move years earlier when his Republican predecessor had a court vacancy, spent several days in a contentious debate with Senate Republicans over whether he should nominate a successor for Scalia with less than a year left in office.

Mr. Obama paid his respects on Friday but declined to attend Saturday's funeral at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Vice President Joe Biden (and his wife Jill) standing in for the President and First Lady.

Scalia's funeral mass was held one week after he died.

Antonin Scalia funeral

A spokesman for his family declined to say where he would be buried, although several Supreme Court justices are interred at Arlington National Cemetery.