By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Yesterday, my world was rocked when I saw the very sad news that Justice Antonin Scalia had unexpectedly passed away. It was like a gut punch and I was not alone in feeling as though I had lost a member of my family. Scalia was a Constitutional originalist and one of the most brilliant legal minds to ever grace the Supreme Court bench. Written constitutionalism implies that those who make, interpret and enforce the law ought to be guided by the meaning of the United States Constitution — the supreme law of the land — as it was originally written. This has always been how I have viewed Constitutional law and jurisprudence. The loss of Scalia is a grave one to conservatives and now a battle is brewing in DC that will forever change the political landscape. It will not be pretty or civil.
Justice Scalia was 79 years-old. There are several justices older than he is and he appeared in fairly robust health. He passed away in West Texas at a luxury resort. Scalia was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa. He arrived at the 30,000-acre ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people that night, according to a federal official. The Washington Post is claiming it was a heart attack. Not to be conspiratorial, but a heart attack can be caused by a myriad of reasons. And why wasn’t an autopsy done? He was found in his pajamas and in bed. He was pronounced dead over the phone. I find that highly suspicious. I find it even more suspicious when you read the account by the ranch owner:
A first-time guest to the Cibolo Creek Creek Ranch, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was animated and engaged during dinner Friday night, as one of three dozen invitees to an event that had nothing to do with law or politics, according to the ranch owner.
Just hours later, he would be found dead of apparent natural causes, which media outlets reported on 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.
A pillow over his head and they declare natural causes over the phone? Was it over his head or over his face? Come on! It is true that Scalia was somewhat overweight, but it would be the height of foolishness not to consider other aspects surrounding his death. It is outrageous that a man of his stature would not have an autopsy to confirm cause of death. I would think his family would have insisted on one. In less than 24 hours, he is already embalmed destroying any chance of deducing foul play. You begin with what sounds like a reasonable supposition, but then as facts begin to emerge it becomes less and less reasonable and the eyes begin to widen. Couple this with the timing and you have to squint really hard not to begin to wonder if all is as it seems.