During its last session, the most important issue facing the Supreme Court was not one of the cases, but the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Supreme Court After Scalia

Appointed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, Scalia “was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court’s conservative wing.”


During his 30 year tenure, he was called upon to rule on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Separation of Powers
  • Detainees
  • Federalism
  • Abortion
  • Criminal Law
  • Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation

His passing leaves the Court split four-to-four along liberal/conservative lines. Not surprisingly, several cases brought before the Court during this session resulted in a tie vote. Some of these may again be presented when Scalia’s position is filled; probably not until after the presidential election in November.