President Ronald Reagan nominated Justice Antonin Scalia to the U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON – Some are predicting that the first question to be asked tonight during the CBS GOP Presidential debate with five candidates – Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush – will be "Who would you nominate to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death?"
Others are saying it is too soon to raise the highly-charged question about the future replacement. But there's no question Saturday's developments will change the focus of the presidential campaigns.
Another "nightmare scenario" for conservatives would be whether or not the President could or would nominate himself to the lifetime appointment, and whether the McConnell-led Republican majority would confirm Obama if he were to nominate himself.
Responses to the sudden development have been coming in from GOP presidential candidates.
"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," Ohio Governor John Kasich said in a statement. "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."
"Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him and the nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement," said Senator Ted Cruz.
Donald J. Trump wrote on Twitter minutes ago, "The totally unexpected loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a massive setback for the Conservative movement and our COUNTRY!"
"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," Senator Marco Rubio said on his Facebook page.
"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."
Dr. Ben Carson released a longer comment:
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.
Wait, I’m confused. Is Obama going to nominate himself as SC Justice before or after he takes away all our guns?