Questions Over Justice Scalia’s Death

 In 2nd Amendment, opinion

Questions Over Justice Scalia’s Death

As with many high profile, unexpected deaths, there are questions being raised about how the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was handled from the beginning. Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced the Justice dead BY PHONE without seeing the body. The family did not want an autopsy.  Why?

Justice Scalia's death

Justice Antonin Scalia – could foul play have beeninvolved in his death.

Conflicting reports on the scene

Texas law allows a pronunciation of death without the body being seen, and the family’s clear instructions that an autopsy should not be done added to the mystery. But in cases of such magnitude, that was a huge mistake, since now conflicting reports and questions are being raised.

The Washington Post reported,

“A manager at the El Paso funeral home where Scalia’s body was taken said that his family made it clear they did not want one.

One of two other officials who were called but couldn’t get to Scalia’s body in time said that she would have made a different decision on the autopsy…

…Meanwhile, Guevara acknowledged that she pronounced Scalia dead by phone, without seeing his body. Instead, she spoke to law enforcement officials at the scene — who assured her “there were no signs of foul play” — and Scalia’s physician in Washington, who said that the 79-year-old justice suffered from a host of chronic conditions.”

Adding to the confusion was the fact that the U.S. Marshals, who normally provide security to SCOTUS justices, were not present at the ranch where he died. He had refused their protection for his stay at the ranch.

Natural Causes?

Judge Guevara’s statement of  death by “natural causes” came under fire. At first stating “myocardial infarction” as the cause, she later rebutted criticism by saying that she just meant that his heart stopped.

The owner of the ranch where Justice Scalia was staying stated that he seemed perfectly fine the night before.

“We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled… He was lying very restfully. It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap.” John Poindexter, owner of the 30,000 acre luxury Cibolo Ranch 

The San Antonio  Express reported,

Scalia,79, did not have a pulse and his body was cold, and after consulting with a doctor at a hospital in Alpine, Poindexter concluded resuscitation would have been futile, He then contacted federal authorities, at first encountering a series of answering services because he was calling on a weekend.

“Ultimately they became available and handled it t superbly. They flew in by helicopter. They told me to secure the ranch, which I did until this morning,” he said.

Scalia was just the latest newsworthy guest to visit the celebrity hideaway that covers 30,000 acres near the Chinati Mountains. Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Tommy Lee Jones have also partaken of its scenic vistas and luxury accommodations.

The series of missteps

 

No coroner’s presence, no U.S. Marshals at the scene, no autopsy…treating Justice Scalia’s death as ordinary was not a good idea.  Not only for the questions those things raised in procedures, but because he was a pivotal member of the Supreme Court and often stood in direct opposition to the current administration.

He was one of a shrinking number of Conservatives on the Court, and his death has touched off a battle over his replacement.

In fact, no one can replace him. He loved the Texas way of life, hunting, and the Constitution. He was a strong 2nd Amendment advocate. His death is not just a personal tragedy for those who knew him, but a great loss for America.

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