With the death of the man known as the Supreme Court’s most conservative justice, admirers and critics from the worlds of entertainment and politics alike took to social media to weigh in on the legacy and career of Antonin Scalia. Responses ranged from praise, to condemnation, to polite condolences but as expected, the man’s legal mind was as respected as his opinions were divisive. Supporters mourned his death as a blow to American jurisprudence. Those who stood opposite Scalia on issues like marriage equality, church and state or abortion, not so much. A sampling of the reactions is below.
With another Republican debate happening tonight, replacing Scalia on the Supreme Court has become the single biggest issue of the 2016 presidential election. Obama was set to address the nation at 5:30 PM Pacific, and meanwhile, unsurprisingly, current and erstwhile presidential candidates of both parties offered comments intended as much to comment on the man, as they are to make clear where each candidate stands on the matter itself.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump was an early entry.
Trump later issued a much longer statement. “Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time… he is a person whom I held in the highest regard and will always greatly respect his intelligence and conviction,” he said.
Democratic contender Hillary Clinton later in the day offered her own statement, one that paid tribute to Scalia while also condemning the growing chorus from Republicans calling on President Obama to nominate no one and instead leave that to his eventual replacement.
President Obama, meanwhile, called Scalia “one of the towering legal figures of our time.” He also vowed, “I plan to fulfill my Constitutional responsibilities to name a successor.” Tonight’s Republican debate just became even more interesting.
Other candidates weighed in as well.
As did Hollywood.