Justice Antonin Scalia, RIP

The sudden death of US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was announced Saturday, February 13, 2016.

His death was not just the devastating loss of a brilliant, wise and witty man but also the loss of the Supreme Court Justice I most admired and read over the years. Justice Scalia and his writings inspired me to pursue the study of the Constitution and law.

I never met Justice Scalia personally but I was privileged to be asked to serve on a panel to discuss end of life issues at a 2009 conference organized by his son, Fr. Paul Scalia.

Fr. Paul was apparently used to people like me gushing about his father but Fr. Paul himself is very proud of his father. Fr. Paul is great example of his father’s deep devotion to his wife and 9 children.

The loss of Justice Scalia has tremendous national implications since so many important cases have been decided by a 5 to 4 majority of justices and now there are several crucial cases being considered, including cases involving abortion and religious rights. It is widely recognized that with the loss of Justice Scalia, there are four justices who lean liberal and four justices who lean more conservative.

With only 8 justices now, such close cases may result in very different decisions than if Justice Scalia were there.

However, our country has been very fortunate to have someone like Justice Scalia both for his personal and his professional example of excellence.

May he rest in peace.