February 13, 2016
Shortly after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Saturday, a number of local politicians reacted to the news, expressing their condolences.
Scalia was a native of Trenton, New Jersey, and several state officials praised the conservative justice's career.
Gov. Chris Christie released a short statement following the news. He noted that Scalia was the first Italian American to serve on the Supreme Court, calling him a "bedrock" of the court.
My statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: pic.twitter.com/vxgIicZxYy— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) February 14, 2016
U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, a Republican representing New Jersey's 7th District, told NJ.com Scalia was a "son" of the state:
"He was a son of New Jersey. His intellect, wisdom and strict defense of our nation's constitution will be his lasting legacy."
Both of Pennsylvania's U.S. senators, Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, took to Twitter to mourn Scalia's passing.
Today our nation mourns for Justice Scalia and his family. It's a day to acknowledge and express gratitude for his decades of public service— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) February 13, 2016
We lost a great public servant, principled conservative, & tireless defender of the Constitution. My prayers are w/Justice Scalia's family.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) February 13, 2016
Many national politicians also reacted to Scalia's death, including several presidential candidates.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said that while he disagreed with many of Scalia's opinions, he thought he was "brilliant" and said his thoughts and prayers were with his family.
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
Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz also released statements, praising Scalia's conservative approach to the bench and adding that the next nominee needed to continue his work.
Jeanette & I mourn the loss of Justice Scalia, and our thoughts & prayers are with his wife Maureen & his family. pic.twitter.com/e03KRZRM6q— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 13, 2016
Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 13, 2016
Both Cruz and Rubio said that the next president, not Barack Obama, should nominate the next justice, which would mean waiting to fill the vacancy for nearly an entire year.
Hillary Clinton denounced that idea in a statement issued in response to Scalia's passing, adding that while she did not share his conservative views, she respected his service.
Statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: pic.twitter.com/xazj9dDd5c— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 14, 2016
The GOP frontrunner in the race, Donald Trump, was characteristically less reserved than the other candidates, calling Scalia's death a "setback" for the country's conservative movement.
The totally unexpected loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a massive setback for the Conservative movement and our COUNTRY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2016
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said while he and Scalia had differences, he respected his work as a dedicated public servant.
Reid also preemptively warned his Republican colleagues against potentially blocking the next nominee to replace Scalia until President Obama leaves office in January 2017.
Would be unprecedented in recent history for SCOTUS to go year with vacancy. And shameful abdication of our constitutional responsibility.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) February 13, 2016
The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away. The Senate has a responsibility to fill vacancies as soon as possible.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) February 13, 2016
Justice Scalia was a brilliant man. We had many differences, but he was a dedicated public servant.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) February 13, 2016
Obama also expressed condolences to Scalia's family, saying the justice would be missed by his colleagues and his country.
Former presidential candidate and Congresswoman Michelle Bachman also mourned Scalia's passing, however, was unable to get his name right, referring to him as "Anthony" instead of Antonin.
God bless Anthony Scalia, finest Sup Ct Justice RIP— Michele Bachmann (@MicheleBachmann) February 13, 2016
Bachman posted the tweet around 6 p.m. and as of 8 p.m. Saturday had not corrected it.