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Antonin Scalia dead: Reactions to the death of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Amid the news of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death at age 79, politicians expressed their condolences and thoughts on his passing. Scalia served on the nation's top court for 30 years.

Barack Obama

In a statement to the country, President Barack
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mandel Ngan

In a statement to the country, President Barack Obama called Scalia "a larger-than-life presence on the bench," adding that he had "a brilliant legal mind with an energetic style, incisive wit and colorful opinions." Obama continued: "He influenced a generation of judges, lawyers and students, and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. He will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the Supreme Court."

John Roberts

In a news release from the U.S. Supreme
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

In a news release from the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts said Scalia "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."

Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton posted a statement
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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton posted a statement on her official Twitter feed about the passing of Scalia: "I did not hold Justice Scalia's views, but he was a dedicated public servant who brought energy and passion to the bench."

Marco Rubio

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
Photo Credit: Bloomberg / Daniel Acker

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wrote on Facebook: "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."

Bernie Sanders

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Stephen Maturen

"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," Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, said in a statement.

Ben Carson

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson issued a statement
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson issued a statement on Facebook that read, in part:

"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."

Sen. Harry Reid

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said on his
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said on his official Twitter account: "Justice Scalia was a brilliant man. We had many differences, but he was a dedicated public servant."

George W. Bush

Former president George W. Bush, left, seen with
Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Bob Levey

Former president George W. Bush, left, seen with his father, George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, released a statement following the death of Antonin Scalia: "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 judgement, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his wife, Maureen, their nine children, and the entire Scalia family."

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued the following statement: "Our family was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Justice Scalia, who made history as the first Italian American named to the Supreme Court. Whether or not you agreed with him, Justice Antonin Scalia served our nation with deep patriotism and distinction on the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years. He has been one of the strongest voices in the great American debate around our Constitution."

Rand Paul

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Pete Marovich

"Justice Scalia was a defender of the constitution, an important conservative voice in the court. He will be missed," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) posted on Twitter.

Chuck Schumer

Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

"Sad news indeed. While we disagreed on many issues, Justice Scalia was a brilliant man & a great son of Queens w/ a genuine joy for life," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) posted on Twitter.

Ted Cruz

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas,
Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Alex Wong

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, wrote on Facebook:"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.

As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. 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.

Justice Scalia's three decades on the Court was one of President Reagan's most consequential legacies. Our prayers are with his beloved wife Maureen, their nine children, and their precious grandchildren."

Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan issued this statement:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Olivier Douliery

House Speaker Paul Ryan issued this statement:

"Justice Scalia did more to advance originalism and judicial restraint than anyone in our time, and it all started with just two words: 'I dissent.' The passing of this brilliant jurist is a great loss, but his writings -- with their plain language and constitutional moorings -- will guide generations to come. A devout Catholic, he was fond of quoting St. Paul, who commanded us to 'think soberly.' That Justice Scalia did, always, and our republic is better for it.

I learned so much from this man. I knew him. I respected him. I looked up to him. We all did. Tonight, Janna and I offer our sympathy and prayers to Justice Scalia's family."

Michele Bachmann

The onetime Republication presidential candidate posted numerous thoughts
Photo Credit: EPA / Michael Reynolds

The onetime Republication presidential candidate posted numerous thoughts about Scalia on Twitter on Feb. 13, including:

"Obama must appoint a constitutional originalist to replace Justice Scalia, nothing else will do."

"God bless Anthony Scalia, finest Sup Ct Justice RIP"

"Reading a Scalia dissent was akin to reading a Shakespearean sonnet. RIP"

Donald Trump

The Republican presidential candidate took to Twitter, posting:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Joe Raedle

The Republican presidential candidate took to Twitter, posting: "The totally unexpected loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a massive setback for the Conservative movement and our COUNTRY!"

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