‘A brilliant jurist and important American’: Reactions pour in remembering Justice Scalia

BY    | Updated: Feb 15, 2016 at 12:30 PM
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 08:  U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (L) and Chief Justice John Roberts talk while posing for photographs in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court building October 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. Scalia, a fiery conservative who helped shape American legal thought, died on February 13, 2016. He was 79. Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the high court, died in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Texas, local media reported. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John Roberts talk while posing for photographs in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court building October 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. Scalia, a fiery conservative who helped shape American legal thought, died on February 13, 2016. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Influential conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in West Texas, the U.S. Marshals Service said on Saturday. He was 79. Reaction to his death:

SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS:

“He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”

JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG:

“From our years together at the D.C. Circuit, we were best buddies. We disagreed now and then, but when I wrote for the Court and received a Scalia dissent, the opinion ultimately released was notably better than my initial circulation. Justice Scalia nailed all the weak spots — the ‘applesauce’ and ‘argle bargle’ — and gave me just what I needed to strengthen the majority opinion.” (Read all of the justices’ statements on Scalia’s death.)

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:

“Laura and I mourn the death of a brilliant jurist and important American, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a towering figure and important judge on our Nation’s highest court. He brought intellect, good judgment, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country.”

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL:

“Today our country lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as Americans. Justice Scalia’s fidelity to the Constitution was rivaled only by the love of his family: his wife Maureen, his nine children, and his many grandchildren. Through the sheer force of his intellect and his legendary wit, this giant of American jurisprudence almost singlehandedly revived an approach to constitutional interpretation that prioritized the text and original meaning? of the Constitution. Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Scalia family.

“The American people? should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

SENATE MINORITY LEADER HARRY REID:

“There is no doubt Justice Antonin Scalia was a brilliant man. We had our differences and I disagreed with many of his opinions, but he was a dedicated jurist and public servant. I offer my condolences to his family.

“The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away. With so many important issues pending before the Supreme Court, the Senate has a responsibility to fill vacancies as soon as possible. It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat. Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Justice Scalia as they mourn his sudden passing. I did not hold Justice Scalia’s views, but he was a dedicated public servant who brought energy and passion to the bench.

“The Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail who are calling for Justice Scalia’s seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution. The Senate has a constitutional responsibility here that it cannot abdicate for partisan political reasons.”

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS:

“While I differed with Justice Scalia’s views and jurisprudence, he was a brilliant, colorful and outspoken member of the Supreme Court. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his colleagues on the court who mourn his passing.”

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND BUSINESSMAN DONALD TRUMP:

“Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time. His career was defined by his reverence for the Constitution and his legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms. He was a Justice who did not believe in legislating from the bench and he is a person whom I held in the highest regard and will always greatly respect his intelligence and conviction to uphold the Constitution of our country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SENATOR TED CRUZ:

“Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history – Justice Antonin Scalia. A champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history.

…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. All liberty-loving Americans should be in mourning.

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SENATOR MARCO RUBIO:

“Justice Scalia was one of the most consequential Americans in our history and a brilliant legal mind who served with only one objective: to interpret and defend the Constitution as written. One of the greatest honors in my life was to attend oral arguments during Town of Greece v. Galloway and see Justice Scalia eloquently defend religious freedom. I will hold that memory forever. The next president must nominate a justice who will continue Justice Scalia’s unwavering belief in the founding principles that we hold dear.”

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR JEB BUSH:

“Justice Scalia was a brilliant defender of the rule of law–his logic and wit were unparalleled, and his decisions were models of clarity and good sense. I often said he was my favorite justice, because he took the Constitution, and the responsibility of judges to interpret it correctly, with the utmost seriousness. Now it is up to all of us to fight for the principles Justice Scalia espoused and carry forth his legacy.”

TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT:

“Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans.”

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