By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Saturday, February 13, US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead on a West Texas ranch. The 79 year old jurist was appointed by President Ronald Reagan (R) in 1986. Over the decades between now and then, Scalia (the first Italian-American on the court) wrote opinion after opinion articulating the conservative position with more passion and common sense than any other jurist in living memory. Whether writing the majority opinion or a scathing dissenting opinion, Scalia remained true to his strict constructionist view of the US Constitution. A favorite of conservatives, the news shocked many in Alabama.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) issued a statement on the death of US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “Our country lost a great public servant today with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. His dedication to the Constitution and the US Supreme Court for almost 30 years will be forever remembered. Nominated to the bench by a strong conservative President, Justice Scalia was dedicated to the principles on which our nation was founded. I join Alabamians and Americans in praying for Justice Scalia’s family tonight. The effort to replace him will be extremely important in the days ahead.”
The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore (R) wrote, “Justice Antonin Scalia was an outstanding jurist who served our Country and our Constitution well. He will be truly missed by all Americans who believe in the principals upon which this nation was founded.”
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) said, “Justice Scalia was a scholar and a patriot. He influenced an entire generation to return to the text and original meaning of the constitution. His passing leaves a tremendous void in the Supreme Court.”
US Senator Jeff Sessions (R) said, “The country has suffered a tremendous loss of a true American treasure. Justice Scalia was unquestionably one of the greatest jurists in our nation’s history. His commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law above all else was the very definition of what a judge should be. His approach was to enforce the Constitution and the law as written, not as some might wish it to be. This defends the right of the people to have their will enforced over the personal preferences of judges. His brilliant and incisive writings time and time again exposed the overreach of activist judges. Indeed, it is impossible to overstate the impact his jurisprudence has had in moving the Court towards the classical understanding of law. It is wrong to view the Court’s division as a matter of politics, at least for the orthodox judges. They found their judgment on law not politics. It is our responsibility to the American people and our Constitutional heritage to ensure that Justice Scalia’s legacy on the Court is carried on.”
US Senator Richard Shelby (R) said, “Today I join all Americans in mourning the loss of Justice Antonin Scalia. There has never been such a strong voice for the Constitution on the Supreme Court, and he will be sorely missed. Justice Scalia will be forever remembered for his dynamic intellect, his deep respect for the rule of law, and his unwavering commitment to the principles on which our nation was founded. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) expresses his sadness on the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia with this comment: “I am saddened to hear the news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing. Justice Scalia, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was one of our nation’s most brilliant and staunchest defenders of the Constitution. He was an avid defender of life, religious liberty, and the First Amendment. His work in defending against judicial activism can not be overstated. Justice Scalia’s influence crossed generational and party lines, inspiring those of us who are committed to restoring constitutional government and the rule of law to our nation. His legal opinions will be studied for years and he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of America’s greatest Supreme Court justices. Ann and I will lift up his family and our nation in our prayers as we mourn the passing of this great man.”
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) issued a statement in response to the passing of Justice Scalia: “The news of Justice Scalia’s death is heartbreaking, and my prayers are with his family and loved ones. I hope we all pause to reflect on the lasting impact Justice Scalia made on our nation and the field of law. The speculation and discussion about political ramifications can wait as we mourn a man who was a true defender of the Constitution.”
Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said, “Saddened to hear of Justice Scalia’s passing. He was a judicial giant who understood the rule of law and the primacy of our Constitution. He was also a statesman, who served this country honorably and lived an extraordinary life. His wit and wisdom on the bench will be sorely missed, as will his fearless defense of the Constitution. Many will no doubt rush to politicize this. But, I believe we first must take a moment to honor his legacy of service and offer prayers of comfort to his family at this difficult time.”
Ideological opponent but close friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburgh said, “He was, indeed, a magnificent performer. It was my great good fortune to have known him as working colleague and treasured friend.”
Republican Presidential Candidate and US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) said, “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.”
Justice Clarence Thomas said, “Justice Scalia was a good man; a wonderful husband who loved his wife and his family; a man of strong faith; a towering intellect; a legal giant; and a dear, dear friend. In every case, he gave it his all to get the broad principles and the small details right. Virginia and I are deeply saddened by his sudden and untimely death. Our prayers and love go out to Maureen and the Scalia family. It is hard to imagine the Court without my friend. I will miss him beyond all measure.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said, “On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. He 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. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”
The conservative jurist is survived by his wife, Maureen, and nine children.