The 2016 presidential candidates issued the following statements in the aftermath of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. (RELATED: Reports: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died)
Scalia was found dead Saturday at the Cibolo Creek Ranch outside of Marfa, Texas. (RELATED: Ted Cruz Reacts To Death Of Antonin Scalia: ‘One Of The Greatest Justices In History’)
Donald Trump called Scalia “one of the best of all time” in the following statement:
I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the Scalia family after the passing of Justice Scalia. 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.
Sen. Marco Rubio said Scalia is “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” in the following statement:
Today, our nation has suffered a deep loss. 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. Jeanette and I mourn the loss of Justice Scalia, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and his family.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Scalia “was my favorite justice, because he took the Constitution, and the responsibility of judges to interpret it correctly, with the utmost seriousness” in the following statement”
Today we lost a great man whose principled service left our nation vastly better off. This afternoon at Mass, Columba and I prayed for Justice Scalia, who was devout in faith and has been brought home to God in heaven. Our prayers are also with his wife, Maureen, his children and his 28 grandchildren.
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.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Scalia “was an essential, principled force for conservative thought and is a model for others to follow” in his statement:
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Justice Scalia and send my prayers out for his family in this difficult time. His death is a serious loss to our nation and the Court. He was an essential, principled force for conservative thought and is a model for others to follow. His dedication to the Constitution and love for and service to our country will be deeply missed.
Bernie Sanders issued the following statement:
My thoughts and prayers are with Justice Scalia's family and his colleagues on the court who mourn his passing. pic.twitter.com/Y51xUMMEId
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 13, 2016
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton had harsh words for Republicans who hope to block President Obama’s nomination, calling it a “dishonor” to the Constitution.
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.
Ben Carson said, “It is imperative that the Senate not allow President Obama to diminish Justice Scalia’s legacy by trying to nominate an individual who would carry on the President’s wishes to subvert the will of the people. Given the dire condition our democracy currently finds itself under Obama’s lack of leadership, I call on the Senate to stop any attempts to fill this crucial seat until We The People elect a strong Constitutionalist this November.”
I am saddened to hear the news about Justice Antonin Scalia. We have lost a great man and a great Supreme Court Justice. For the past three decades, his towering intellect and trenchant wit has characterized the deliberations and decisions of the high court. He made Americans proud, not only because he gave to the court the power and persuasion of his brilliant legal mind, but because he defended the Constitution with an unshakeable commitment to the text and to the intent of the Founders.
In an age where it is popular to subscribe to a “living Constitution” and during a time when political and judicial leaders prefer legal decisions that are politically convenient, Justice Scalia always dutifully carried out his responsibilities to interpret the law, not to make new ones. Time and again, he ruled based on where the black letter of the law led him, not according to the politics of the moment. For that reason, he has angered Americans on both the left and the right, but he has never wavered in his dedication to the Constitution.
It is imperative that the Senate not allow President Obama to diminish Justice Scalia’s legacy by trying to nominate an individual who would carry on the President’s wishes to subvert the will of the people. Given the dire condition our democracy currently finds itself under Obama’s lack of leadership, I call on the Senate to stop any attempts to fill this crucial seat until We The People elect a strong Constitutionalist this November.
We will miss him sorely. We pray for his family and friends, and we pray for America, which today lost a patriot and a faithful servant.