Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, a native of Trenton, N.J., died Saturday at a resort in West Texas.
Though the causes of his death were not immediately released, a spokeswoman for the United States Marshals Service stated that nothing indicated that anything other than natural causes was at play.
Scalia was the longest serving Justice of the Supreme Court and often considered a "conservative champion," according to a 2012 Daily Princetonian article. Some of Scalia's notable rulings include a dissenting opinion inObergefell v. Hodges,which legalizedsame-sex marriages inthe United States, the majority opinion inDistrict of Columbia v. Heller,which defended an individual's rights to bear arms, and a concurring opinion inKansas v. Marsh,which upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty in Kansas.
Scalia gave a lecture at the University in 2012 and defended his opinions about same-sex marriage. Previously, in 2008, the James Madison Program and Whig-Clio hosted Scalia on campus and presented him with the James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service.
Scalia's death was a topic of discussion at last Saturday's Republican debate. In his tribute to the deceasedjustice,Texas Senator Ted Cruz '92 described Scalia as an "American hero."
"A champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history," Cruz wrote in a statement.
Cruz later stated that he is committed to filibustering President Barack Obama's nominee for Scalia's replacement.