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US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the high court, is dead.

Scalia died in his sleep of natural causes at Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in southwest Texas.

FILE - In this 2006 photo, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia listens to President Bush speak during a ceremony at the White House.

The conservative Scalia was 79 years old. He was appointed to the high court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in confirming Scalia’s death, called him an “extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues.”

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, who first announced Scalia’s death, called him “an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the rule of law…a solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution.”

“A lion of American law has left the stage,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement, “and it is up to all of us – every American – to keep our national constitutional dialogue as lively and as learned as he left it.”

Former president Bill Clinton noted that even though he and Scalia “disagreed on nearly everything, I always kind of liked Justice Scalia because he never pretended to be anything he wasn’t. He was very straightforward about what he believed…”

Former president George W. Bush said Scalia ” brought intellect, good judgment, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country.”