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Scalia's death sends jolts through US presidential race

The sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a towering conservative icon on the US Supreme Court, has set off an epic election-year battleThe sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a towering conservative icon on the US Supreme Court, has set off an epic election-year battle over his successor that will shape American life far into the future. Scalia died of an apparent heart attack at age 79, leaving what had been a conservative-dominated court evenly divided in a year of blockbuster cases — on abortion, affirmative action, immigration and President Barack Obama’s health care law. The news sent shockwaves through the White House race, as Republican and Democratic candidates absorbed the implications of the surprise, potentially course-altering opening on the court.

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