Justice Antonin Scalia was taking a free vacation at the exclusive Cibolo Creek Ranch in West Texas when he was found dead inside a guest room Saturday. The trip, the Washington Post reports, was a gift from the ranch’s owner, who just last year obtained a favorable result from the Supreme Court.
The 30,000-acre hunting ranch, located around 30 miles from the Mexican border in the West Texas town of Shafter, is also the home of owner John B. Poindexter, who owns the Houston-based manufacturing firm J.B. Poindexter & Co.
The two men already had a tenuous connection outside of the ranch. Last year, an age discrimination suit filed against the Mic Group, a subsidiary of J.B. Poindexter & Co., reached the Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case.
In an email to the Post, Poindexter said Scalia, who was invited to the ranch as a personal guest, was not charged for his stay. A person “familiar with the ranch’s operations” tells the paper Poindexter typically hosts these free events two to three times a year.
“I did not pay for the Justice’s trip to Cibolo Creek Ranch,” Poindexter wrote in a brief email Tuesday. “He was an invited guest, along with a friend, just like 35 others.”
Poindexter added: “The Justice was treated no differently by me, as no one was charged for activities, room and board, beverages, etc. That is a 22-year policy.’’
Poindexter explicitly denied paying for Scalia’s charter flight to the ranch and declined to identify the friend who accompanied Scalia or any of the other guests on the trip.