As has been widely covered, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13 after a long and distinguished legal and judicial career, described here by NPR. SCOTUS Blog has provided excellent coverage of the Supreme Court Justice's death, including compiling tributes from fellow Justices, past and present, and discussing the practical implications for this term.
Any vote that the late Justice cast in a case that was not yet publicly announced is now void, according to SCOTUS Blog. If Justice Scalia's vote was not a decisive factor then the case will simply be decided by the majority of an 8-person court. For cases where Scalia cast (or would have cast) a deciding vote (ie, 5-4), then the likely outcome is that a lower court decision will stand until the case can be re-argued in front of full court. SCOTUS Blog did speculate that there is a possibility that these close cases could be considered "affirmed by a divided court," but later published an article citing precedent that the cases would likely require re-argument in the event of a tie.
Additionally, the site addressed some perceived controversy about the ability of a president to appoint a justice in an election year, writing that,
The historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the Senate failing to confirm a nominee in a presidential election year because of the impending election.
Photo credit: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, via Wikimedia Commons.