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Presidential Candidates React to Scalia's Death

  • VOA News

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia looks into the balcony before addressing the Chicago-Kent College Law justice in Chicago.

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia looks into the balcony before addressing the Chicago-Kent College Law justice in Chicago.

Most presidential candidates reacted quickly to the news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with messages expressing sorrow for Scalia's passing, admiration for his service, and condolences to his family.

Here's the reaction from the candidates seeking their party's nomination for president.

Republicans laud adherence to letter of Constitution

Texas Senator Ted Cruz called Scalia "one of the greatest Justices in history," and praised his focus on the original text of the U.S. Constitution "after decades of judicial activism."

Businessman Donald Trump, also said Scalia was "one of the best of all time." Trump also praised Scalia's "reverence for the constitution" and "legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms."

Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, recalled attending oral arguments during a 2014 Supreme Court case that ruled prayers could be said at the beginning of town meetings. Rubio said watching "Justice Scalia eloquently defend religious freedom" was a memory he will hold forever.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Scalia was "an essential, principled force for conservative thought and is a model for others to follow."

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson said Scalia's "towering intellect and trenchant wit has characterized the deliberations and decisions of the high court." Carson also noted Scalia's adherence to the letter of the law "angered Americans on both the left and the right, but he has never wavered in his dedication to the Constitution."

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush said Scalia was his "favorite justice," and that Scalia's "decisions were models of clarity and good sense."

Democrats didn't agree with Scalia

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders noted that while he "differed with Justice Scalia's views and jurisprudence, he was a brilliant, colorful, and outspoken member of the Supreme Court."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that while she did not "hold Justice Scalia's views ... he was a dedicated public servant who brought energy and passion to the bench."

Calls for delay in filling seat

Republican's Cruz, Rubio and Carson all called for Scalia's replacement to be named by the next president, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20, 2017.

Clinton said those calling for Justice Scalia’s seat to remain vacant " dishonor our Constitution," and said the U.S. Senate "has a constitutional responsibility here that it cannot abdicate for partisan political reasons."

President Obama announced Saturday he plans to nominate a successor "in due time."

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