Here are five things to know about Justice Scalia.
When Was He Appointed to the Supreme Court?
Scalia was nominated to the court by President Reagan and took his seat on Sept. 26, 1986.
What Was Scalia Known for in His Legal Interpretation of the Constitution?
As a member of the Supreme Court's conservative wing, Scalia was known for his "textualist" position regarding the Constitution -- that is, sticking close to the literal wording of the founding fathers in interpreting its meaning.
"As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism," Cruz said in a statement on Facebook.
"And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights," Cruz added.
What Were His Opinions of Some of the Most Controversial Legal Decisions in Recent History?
In the landmark Supreme Court decision in June 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, Scalia blasted the majority opinion, calling it a "judicial Putsch" and a "threat to American democracy."
What Were Scalia's Appointments Before the Supreme Court?
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Scalia was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982. He also served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1974 to 1977, Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972 to 1974 and General Counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy from 1971 to 1972.
Scalia's Family Life
Scalia is survived by his wife, Maureen, whom he married in 1960, five sons and four girls -- Ann Forrest, Eugene, John Francis, Catherine Elisabeth, Mary Clare, Paul David, Matthew, Christopher James and Margaret Jane.