U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, was found dead Saturday while on vacation at a Texas ranch, according to a statement by Chief Justice John Roberts.
According to a government official, Scalia told friends he was feeling ill before bed Friday night and did not get up for breakfast Saturday morning.
Scalia was appointed in 1986 by Ronald Reagan, and his 29 years of service made him the longest-tenured member of the Supreme Court. He was known for his conservative leanings and originalist interpretation of the Constitution.
Though President Barack Obama has power to appoint Scalia's replacement pending Senate approval, there may be political pressure to wait until the next president takes office before the vacancy is filled.