No autopsy for Antonin, but we know what killed him.

 

Scalia died peacefully.

 

Of course. Who would have thought otherwise.

 

The day before he died, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia toured an exclusive West Texas ranch, had a jovial dinner and made his usual amicable conversation before excusing himself around 9 p.m.

A few hours later, he was dead, apparently of a heart attack.

“He was very peaceful,” John Poindexter, owner of the Cibolo Creek Ranch resort, where Scalia had gathered for a weekend retreat, told NBC News. “He had obviously passed away with no difficulty at all in the middle of the night.”

 

Now here are excerpts from the news story which I find intriguing. I’ve added the archived link as well, which I find perfectly justified give the situation.

 

The day before he died, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia toured an exclusive West Texas ranch, had a jovial dinner and made his usual amicable conversation before excusing himself around 9 p.m.

“He was very peaceful,” John Poindexter, owner of the Cibolo Creek Ranch resort, where Scalia had gathered for a weekend retreat, told NBC News. “He had obviously passed away with no difficulty at all in the middle of the night.”

The death certificate for Scalia will list myocardial infarction — a heart attack — as the official cause of death, Presidio County Judge Guevara told WFAA-TV on Sunday. Scalia’s remains were discreetly driven by van overnight to an El Paso funeral home with an escort from a procession of Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers and U.S. Marshals Service vehicles.

 

After arriving at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, the Sunset Funeral Home embalmed Scalia’s remains, according to Chris Lujuan, a funeral home manager. Embalming is required by Texas law before a body can be transported out of state.

 

Lujuan said Scalia’s body was taken from the funeral home to the airport Sunday afternoon. The body, under escort from El Paso police officers and federal officers, arrived at Atlantic Aviation just before 5 p.m. local time. At about 6 p.m., a Sunset Funeral Home hearse with red, white and blue flags left the aviation area, as did the dozens of police vehicles that were stationed in the area.

 

In a statement, El Paso International Airport officials said: “U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was transported out of El Paso on a private aircraft at approximately 6:00 p.m. today, February 14, 2016.”

 

Nathali Fragoso, Sunset’s director, said there will not be an autopsy.

Miguel Acuino, the priest of the Santa Teresa de Jesus Catholic Church here, was working at his church offices Saturday afternoon when he got a call to perform the last Catholic rites for someone at the ranch, about 30 miles up the road.

 

It wasn’t until he reached the property and saw the person that he realized it was Scalia.

 

“As a priest, that’s my duty,” Acuino said in his offices after Sunday Mass. “Wherever there’s a need, that’s where I go.”

 

Acuino wouldn’t reveal any details of the rites or whether Scalia was still alive when he administered them. He referred most questions to the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.

Presidio County Justice of the Peace Juanita Bishop, whose precinct includes the ranch, remembers driving up Interstate 67 Saturday morning and noticing an unusually high number of private jets at the ranch property. She figured celebrities or dignitaries were gathering at the ranch for the long weekend.

 

A few hours later, she got a request from the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office to perform an inquest on a deceased person at the ranch property. Since she was out of town, she deferred the case to County Judge Cinderela Guevara, who performed the inquest.

 

Usually, if the cause of death is unclear, Bishop will order an autopsy, she said.

 

“If it had been me, I would’ve done an autopsy,” Bishop said. “They said he was good one minute and the next minute he’s dead.” She added: “It’s for our own good to know cause of death.”

 

Guevara pronounced Scalia dead over the phone at 1:52 p.m. Saturday. She said she spoke to Scalia’s physician and wanted to clarify details of his death before deciding whether to order an autopsy. Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez and U.S. Marshals, who answered the first calls, assured her no foul play was involved, Guevara told WFAA.

 

The enormity of her otherwise routine task hit her later.

 

“After I did my job, yes, I kept playing it over and over in my mind and thought, ‘Oh, my God. History is being made in Presidio County,’” she told WFAA. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”

 

I italicized the “interesting” points.

 

A telephone conversation with US Marshals and Scalia’s physician was all it took for the presiding county official to agree to sign off on a natural death certificate. The medical examiner never laid a hand on the deceased. Scalia’s corpse is driven, not flown, and we learn that it happened in the darkness of the night; and due to state law, his body is embalmed before it can cross the Texas state line.

 

Convenience.