President Obama and George W. Bush were among those paying tribute to the late Antonin Scalia, who passed away on Feb. 13. President Obama said he plans to nominate someone to take his place.
President Barack Obama, 54, George W. Bush, 69, were just some of the many famous figures that paid tribute to Senior Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia following his sudden death. During President Obama’s speech he said that before his term is up, he plans to nominate Scalia’s successor.
Check out Obama’s full statement on the passing of Scalia below:
“Good evening, everybody. For almost 30 years, Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia was a larger-than-life presence on the bench — a brilliant legal mind with an energetic style, incisive wit, and colorful opinions.
He influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students, and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. He will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia dedicated his life to the cornerstone of our democracy: The rule of law. Tonight, we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time.
Antonin Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey to an Italian immigrant family. After graduating from Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, he worked at a law firm and taught law before entering a life of public service. He rose from Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel to Judge on the D.C. Circuit Court, to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
A devout Catholic, he was the proud father of nine children and grandfather to many loving grandchildren. Justice Scalia was both an avid hunter and an opera lover — a passion for music that he shared with his dear colleague and friend, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Michelle and I were proud to welcome him to the White House, including in 2012 for a State Dinner for Prime Minister David Cameron. And tonight, we join his fellow justices in mourning this remarkable man.
Obviously, today is a time to remember Justice Scalia’s legacy. I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. There will be plenty of time for me to do so, and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone. They’re bigger than any one party. They are about our democracy. They’re about the institution to which Justice Scalia dedicated his professional life, and making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our Founders envisioned.
But at this moment, we most of all want to think about his family, and Michelle and I join the nation in sending our deepest sympathies to Justice Scalia’s wife, Maureen, and their loving family — a beautiful symbol of a life well lived. We thank them for sharing Justice Scalia with our country. God bless them all, and God bless the United States of America.”
George W. Bush sent his own condolences to the Scalia family and released his own touching statement. “He was a towering figure and important judge on our Nation’s highest court,” Bush said. “He brought intellect, good judgment, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country.”
Justice Scalia dedicated three decades to the Court & we recognize his service. Connie & I send our deepest condolences. -SB
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) February 13, 2016
Scalia's passing is jolting, sad news. My thoughts are with his family and friends. An unmistakable, lasting legacy.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 14, 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
Senior Supreme Court Associate Justice Scalia was found dead at the age of 79 of apparent natural causes on Feb. 13, in his hotel room at the Cibolo Creek Ranch in West Texas, according to local authorities. There were no suspicions of foul play. It’s believed a ranch employee found his body after he had failed to arrive for breakfast that morning. Later that afternoon, a grey Cadillac hearse was seen pulling into the ranch.
Justice Scalia had reportedly attended a party with 40 other guests the night before on Feb. 12 at the resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa. There was no indication then that there was any health issues with the judge.
Fred Biery, the U.S. District Judge, was one of the first people to have been informed of the tragic news. “I was told it was this morning,” Judge Biery said. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he said. “My reaction is it’s very unfortunate,” he added.
Now, the search will be on for Justice Scalia’s replacement in the Supreme Court. Incredibly, he has held onto the seat since 1986, when he was appointed to the position by President Ronald Reagan.
HollywoodLifers, who do you think should replace him the hot seat? Sound off below!