In addition to the effects on the family of someone who suddenly dies, the passing of Antonin Scalia will be shared by many in the United States. His absence from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will be seen in the coming months in the decisions that have yet to be rendered.
As an originalist in constitutional interpretation, his majority opinion in the District of Columbia v. Heller case decided the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. He was joined in the opinion by Justices Alito, Kennedy, Thomas and Roberts. Justice Scalia’s opinion is a history lesson and an exercise in logic that starkly contradicts the dissenting opinions of Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer.
This opinion, along with McDonald v. City of Chicago in which Justice Alito delivered the majority opinion, provide court decisions to support the keeping and bearing of arms as an individual right for self-defense in our homes. Justice Scalia joined in this decision.
Both of these decisions were 5-4. Consider the ramifications if a just one more of the Justices was of a liberal, progressive, or revisionist ideology. The results of those two rulings would be opposite and our ability to protect ourselves in our own homes could be mandated by laws similar to the ones struck down in the Heller case.
The President has announced his intention to nominate a replacement. He has successfully nominated and had confirmed Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. Justice Sotomayor claimed during 2009 hearings that she held with the Heller precedent but she then dissented in the McDonald case. She also claimed during her confirmation hearings that an individual right to self-defense does not exist. (HUGE RED FLAG) But a Democrat controlled Senate confirmed her. A Democrat Senate also confirmed Justice Kagan.
It is possible the current Republican controlled Senate will not confirm any nominee presented by the current President. This importance of this national election just increased because we will be choosing a new POTUS who will likely appoint the next Justice of the SCOTUS. Choose wisely.