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Conspiracies Swirl After Court Justice Dies


In this Oct. 18, 2011 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia looks into the balcony before addressing the Chicago-Kent College Law justice in Chicago.

In this Oct. 18, 2011 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia looks into the balcony before addressing the Chicago-Kent College Law justice in Chicago.


People who believe in conspiracies -- or crimes committed by secret groups – are talking about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia died at a remote ranch in west Texas on Saturday.

The lack of an autopsy and how Scalia was found led to questions of foul play.

In Texas, a presiding judge does not have to see the body to determine the cause of death and decide if an autopsy is needed.

After Scalia was discovered, the county sheriff and U.S. Marshals Service arrived at Cibolo Creek Ranch. They saw no signs of foul play, AP reported.

The presiding judge ruled against an autopsy after speaking to Scalia’s doctor Saturday.

Scalia had a history of heart trouble and high blood pressure. Multiple media reports state that the Scalia family did not ask or order an autopsy.

It was announced the day he died that Scalia passed away from natural causes.

Some Americans believe in conspiracies even when facts prove the conspiracies wrong.

Some conservative members of the media called for a murder investigation. They asked for toxicology tests and an autopsy to determine the cause of Scalia’s death. Media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and Time magazine have published stories about a possible conspiracy.

Scalia will lie in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court of the United States on Friday. The funeral Mass for the Supreme Court judge will be held Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

I'm Christopher Cruise.

Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

conspiracy theory – n. a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups

remote – adj. far away

ranch – n. a large farm especially in the U.S. where animals are raised

autopsy – n. an examination of a dead body to find out the cause of death

foul play – n. criminal violence or murder

toxicology – n. the study of poisonous chemicals, drugs and how a person or other living thing reacts to them

repose – n. a state of resting or not being active

basilica – n. a large church that has a long central part that ends in a curved wall

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