Presidential Candidates Respond to Justice Scalia's Death

February 13th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Six presidential candidates have responded to the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday. The 79-year-old justice was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1989. He died of natural causes during a trip to Texas, federal officials say.


1. Ted Cruz (R)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz issued a statement and mourned the loss on Twitter shortly after initial reports of the death were published. He described Scalia as "one of the greatest Justices in history."

"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," Cruz said.

2. Donald Trump (R)

Republican front-runner Donald Trump also issued a statement and tweeted his reaction, calling Scalia's death "a massive setback for the Conservative movement and our COUNTRY."

3. John Kasich (R)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich expressed his sorrow over Scalia's passing and extended prayers to the Justice's family.

"His death is a serious loss to our nation and the Court," Kasich said. "He was an essential, principled force for conservative thought and is a model for others to follow."

4. Jeb Bush (R)

In a statement, former Florida governor Jeb Bush also offered his condolences to the Scalia family and remarked upon the Justice's legacy.

"Today we lost a great man whose principled service left our nation vastly better off," Bush said. "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."

5. Marco Rubio (R)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio issued a press release lamenting Scalia's death and describing his achievements in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Today, our nation has suffered a deep loss,” Rubio said. “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.”

6. Ben Carson (R)

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson expressed his condolences and emphasized 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" in a statement.

"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," Carson said.

7. Bernie Sanders (D)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said that while he and Scalia held different views, he considered the Justice 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," Sanders said.

8. Hillary Clinton

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton also expressed sorrow over the loss of Scalia while stating that she disagreed with the justice's views.

“I did not hold Justice Scalia’s views, but he was a dedicated public servant who brought energy and passion to the bench,” Clinton said. “The Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail who are calling for Justice Scalia’s seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution.”

This story is developing. ATTN: will update this article as more information becomes available.