Conservative US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died at age 79

US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia has died at age 79, reportedly of natural causes. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed Scalia’s death, but did not disclose the cause of death.

Scalia attended a quail hunt at a ranch in Marfa, Texas on Friday and retired to his room after dinner, according to local broadcaster KVIA. His body was found on the morning of Saturday (Feb. 13).

The death of the leading conservative voice on the closely divided Supreme Court will send shockwaves across the US political landscape. Republicans will be eager to delay the nomination of a new justice until after president Barack Obama’s term ends in early 2017, when they hope to have their candidate installed at the White House.

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Already, one prominent Republican senator’s aide tweeted that there was “less than zero” chance Obama will be able to appoint Scalia’s successor.