Who could always depend on the fiery justice for an originalism interpretation of the Constitution and a ruling that protected the rights of the powerful and the majority.
His legacy didn't stop Republicans from wasting precious moments politicizing Scalia's death at 79 years old on Saturday.
GOP contender Ted Cruz was practically first out of the gate, insisting that President Obama has no place in naming Scalia's successor — despite the minor detail that Obama is president and has nearly a full year left in office.
Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 13, 2016
He wasn't the only one to jump on Scalia's death.
Senate must simply refuse to appoint anybody. Would be outrageous to replace a giant like Scalia with a minnow like Sotomayor.— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) February 13, 2016
Of course, conservatives saying this are going precisely against Scalia's legacy on the bench, which is a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
At least Michele Bachmann understands it's Obama's job to appoint a new justice, even if she's already ordering the president around.
Obama must appoint a constitutional originalist to replace Justice Scalia, nothing else will do.— Michele Bachmann (@MicheleBachmann) February 13, 2016
That's not to say the left was entirely blameless in the hours following Scalia's death. Many on social media went beyond celebrating that Obama will have another Supreme Court nominee before his time in office ends and cheered Scalia's death itself.
Both of these reactions are disgusting. A man is dead. A man with a family who loved him and is in mourning — grief made worse by the political fight that's already brewing.
There is a marked difference in celebrating someone's death and feeling relief that the Supreme Court will get a fresh face and new viewpoint on the bench.
No matter what someone thinks of Scalia and his rulings, the man deserves at least a day of people remembering his life before a fight for the Supreme Court bench breaks out over his grave.