Pence orders flags at half-staff to honor Scalia

February 15, 2016

Gov. Mike Pence has directed that flags at state facilities around Indiana be flown at half-staff to honor the service of Supreme Court of the United States Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday.

The order is in accordance with a presidential proclamation issued late Saturday evening. Flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment.

Pence also asked that businesses and residences lower their flags to half-staff to honor Scalia.

Scalia, 79, died at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas. He was found dead Saturday morning after he did not appear for breakfast. The Associated Press reports that Scalia died of natural causes.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller commented on Scalia’s nearly 30 years on the nation’s highest court.

“Those of us who defend against an expansive interpretation of the written Constitution and those who argue for limitations upon the federal government have lost an advocate in Justice Scalia,” Zoeller said in a statement.

Three faculty members at Notre Dame Law School who served as a law clerk to Scalia posted their thoughts on the justice on the law school’s website.

“It would be difficult to overstate Justice Scalia’s impact on the law. His jurisprudence touched nearly every area of the Constitution, and he has profoundly influenced the way that lawyers think about questions of statutory and constitutional interpretation.

“Tonight, however, those of us who knew the Justice mourn the loss of a mentor and friend. His brilliance and wit not only lit up a pen; they lit up a room. He was larger than life, and it is difficult to imagine life without him in it.

“My sadness is tempered only by my gratefulness for having known this truly great man. Both Justice Scalia and the family he so loved are in my prayers,” wrote Amy Coney Barrett, the Diane and M.O. Miller II Research Chair in Law Barrett, who was a clerk from 1998-99.

“Justice Scalia was an exceptional jurist who, by force of reason and principle, transformed debates over constitutional law and the role of courts in our federal system. He was one of the most influential justices of our day, and he likely will go down as one of the most influential justices in United States history.

“Justice Scalia was beloved by those who knew him — for his warmth, his friendship, and his example. To work with him was a privilege. His sharp intellect, quick wit, and commitment to principle were unfailing. More importantly, his witness to the things in life that matter most — including faith and family — was constant.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Maureen, and his entire family,” wrote Anthony J. Bellia Jr., the O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law, who was a clerk from 1997-98.

Associate professor of law William Kelley, who served as a law clerk from 1988-89, wrote, “We lost today a great and consequential jurist, whose contributions to the law have been immense. During his almost thirty years on the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia set the terms of debate among lawyers, judges, and academics. His piercing intellect, his unyielding devotion to principle, and his graceful pen, produced a body of work that will influence American law for generations to come. History will record him as one of America’s greatest Justices.

“But for those who knew and loved him, today is about the loss of a great man — a boss, a mentor, a role model, and a friend. Anybody who spent any real time with the Justice came to love him. His wit, his quick mind, his love of laughter and a great story — those are the things that his friends will remember.

“Personally, I will always remember and be grateful for the many conversations we had, and the things he taught me, about faith, and the things that really matter.

“I pray for the repose of Justice Scalia’s soul, and for the comfort of his wife and family.”


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