The conservative Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, the most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died at age 79.
Since his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right, and to get it to embrace his "originalist" view of constitutional law.
Pictured: Justice Antonin Scalia participates at the third annual Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington Thursday Oct. 6, 2011.
Born in Trenton, N.J. Antonin Scalia attended Georgetown University and earned his law degree at Harvard. After several years of private practice and on the faculty of the University of Virginia, Scalia served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, rising to assistant attorney general. In 1982 he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Ronald Reagan.
Pictured: President Reagan gestures during a news conference at the White House June 17, 1986 , where he announced the nomination of Scalia, left, to the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justice-nominee Antonin Scalia meets with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, June 25, 1986.
Supreme Court Justice nominee Anthony Scalia at the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings in Washington on August 6, 1986.
Taking The Oath
Retiring Chief Justice Warren Burger, right, administers the oath to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, as Scalia's wife, Maureen, holds the Bible during ceremonies in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, on Friday, Sept. 26, 1986.
Scalia became the 103rd person to sit on the court, and the first Italian-American.
The U.S. Supreme Court Justices pose for an official portrait Nov. 9, 1990 in Washington. From left, standing are: Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia and David Souter. Seated from left are: Harry A. Blackmun, Byron White, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Associate Justices Thurgood Marshall and John Paul Stevens.
The Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, president of Catholic University, presents U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia with a honorary degree during commencement ceremonies at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Saturday, May 15, 1999.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia addresses the Philadelphia Bar Association during a luncheon April 29, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pa.
During his three decades on the High Court, Scalia sided with libertarians in favoring restrictions on police searches and protecting defendants' rights. But he voted consistently for further restrictions on abortion, permitting executions, limiting lawsuits, and promoting a closer relationship between government and religion. He was a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, and supported the Court's decision on campaign financing in Citizens United.
His 2008 opinion for the court overturning the District of Columbia's handgun ban supported an individual's right to own a gun without being in service to a militia:
"Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct."
Pictured: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia answers a question after delivering the 2004 Edwin L. Godkin Lecture entitled "The Separation of Powers" at the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004.
Chief Justice John Roberts
President Bush meets with members of the Supreme Court during the investiture ceremony of Chief Justice John Roberts (second from right), in the Chief Justice's Conference Room at the court in Washington, Monday, Oct. 3, 2005.
Justice Antonin Scalia (center) wrote the majority opinion in the Supreme Court's stay of Florida's recount of votes in the 2000 presidential election, and joined the court's 5-4 majority decision in Bush v. Gore.
Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court (right to left) Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, and Clarence Thomas walk past the coffin of Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court September 7, 2005 in Washington, D.C.
The White House
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia listens to remarks after participating in the swearing-in of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on the South Lawn of the White House June 7, 2006 in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia addresses a Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) breakfast December 13, 2006 in McLean, Virginia. Scalia spoke to executives from technology companies in the region about constitutional interpretation.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer (left) and fellow Associate Justice Antonin Scalia testify before the House Judiciary Committee's Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee on Capitol Hill May 20, 2010 in Washington, D.C.
An October 8, 2010 photograph of the most recent makeup of the Supreme Court, which includes three female Justices for the first time.
Front row, from left: Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Back row, from left: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan.
May It Please The Court
This artist's rendering shows Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. speaking in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, March 27, 2012, as the court continued hearings on President Obama's health care law. From left: Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Samuel Alito and Elana Kagan.
By a vote of 5-4, the Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Scalia voted with the minority.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia listens as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol on January 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia waits during an introduction before speaking at the University of Minnesota as part of the law school's Stein Lecture series, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Minneapolis.
President Obama pays respects
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pay their respects as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's body lies in repose at the Supreme Court on February 19, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
An undated file photo of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who was found dead on Saturday morning, Feb. 13, 2016, at a West Texas ranch, where he had been attending a private function. He was 79.
In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts said, "He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Maureen, and his family."
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan. The Associated Press contributed to this report.