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US Supreme Court Justice has died
14 Feb 2016 14:02
Conservative US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, setting up a major political showdown between President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled Senate over who will replace him just months before a presidential election.
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Mr Obama called Mr Scalia, who served on the nation's highest court for nearly 30 years, a "larger-than-life presence" and said he intended to nominate someone to fill the vacant seat before leaving the White House next January.
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"I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibility to appoint a successor in due time and there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to give that person a fair hearing and timely vote," Obama told reporters in California.
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Mr Scalia, 79, was found dead at the Cibolo Creek Ranch resort in West Texas yesterday.
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He died of natural causes, according to Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara, who went to the ranch and saw the body.
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Chief Justice John Roberts described his former colleague, who was known for his strident conservative views and theatrical flair in the courtroom, as an "extraordinary individual and jurist."
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Mr Obama ordered flags at the White House and all federal buildings to be flown at half-mast.
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