MI Supreme Court Justice: Antonin Scalia had a ‘brilliant mind’

Posted at 12:09 PM, Feb 14, 2016

ASSOCIATED PRESS — A Michigan Supreme Court Justice who worked for Scalia says he was a “warm and gregarious person” and a “force to be reckoned with”on the nation’s highest court.

Justice Joan Larsen (Courtesy: Law School, Laura Jarvis)

Justice Joan Larsen
(Courtesy: Law School, Laura Jarvis)

Joan Larsen served as Scalia’s law clerk earlier in her career. In a statement, she recalled his commitment to “constitutional principles” and said everyone knew he had a “brilliant mind”.

Larsen was a University of Michigan law professor when Gov. Rick Snyder appointed her to the state Supreme Court last year.

U-M law professor Gil Seinfeld says it was a privilege to be a “liberal clerk” working for Scalia in 2002-03. He says Scalia had “an insatiable appetite for argument and discussion.”

Meanwhile, a presidential proclamation has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the Supreme Court, the White House and elsewhere in honor of the late Justice.

The order is in effect until sunset on the day of Scalia’s interment.

Earlier today, the body of Scalia was taken to a funeral home in El Paso, Texas, where officials are waiting to hear whether an autopsy will be performed.

Chris Lujan — a manager for Sunset Funeral Homes — says a procession that included about 20 law enforcement officers arrived early Sunday at the funeral home.

The procession traveled the more than three hours from the West Texas resort ranch where Scalia was found dead in his room on Saturday morning.

Lujan says if an autopsy is ordered by Scalia’s family or a justice of the peace, then it likely will be performed at the funeral home by an El Paso County medical examiner.

Lujan says tentative plans for Scalia’s body to be flown back home Tuesday to his family in Virginia.