News (rumor?) is spreading rapidly that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has reportedly passed away.

Consider this rumor until further confirmation–but if it is true, the appointment of a new justice now becomes by far the most consequential issue of the final year of the Obama presidency. It would also carry huge risks for Republicans, who would be painted as intransigent and unable to govern if they refuse to confirm a nominee until after Election Day.

More to come…

Update: This seems to be confirmed. Statement by TX governor Greg Abbott here.

Update 2: De mortuis nil nisi bonum. Ergo…nil dicam.

David Atkins

Follow David on Twitter @DavidOAtkins. David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.