Florida politicians react to death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died. He was 79.

The U.S. Marshal’s Service in Washington confirmed Scalia’s death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of South Texas.

The service’s spokeswoman, Donna Sellers, said Scalia had retired for the evening and was found dead Saturday morning when he did not appear for breakfast.

Here is a compilation of reactions from Florida elected officials and politicians to Scalia’s death:

Governor Rick Scott:

“I am honored to direct our flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.  He was a devoted public servant who faithfully upheld the rule of law.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson:

“I am stunned since Justice Scalia seemed to be in the prime of his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. And I take very seriously our constitutional responsibility to fill this vacancy.”

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio:

“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.”

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan:

“Justice Scalia’s death is a huge loss to our country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis:

“Justice Antonin Scalia is one of the most consequential Supreme Court justices in American history and a man who ardently defended the Constitution his entire life. By insisting that courts apply the Constitution as written, rather than as judges would like it to read, Justice Scalia vindicated the rule of law and safeguarded the prerogative of the people to govern themselves. My thoughts and prayers go out to Maureen and the Scalia family.”

Brad Herold, on behalf of DeSantis, told FloridaPolitics.com that “Congressman DeSantis believes the next president should be given the opportunity to nominate their choice for this Supreme Court seat.”

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart:

“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of legal great Supreme Court Associate Justice Scalia. May he rest in eternal peace.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings:

“As the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia was a stalwart advocate of Conservative values. While our perspectives on many of the issues facing our nation differed greatly, Justice Scalia served our nation loyally and with distinction. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his wife Maureen, his children, and his family during this time of sadness.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of senior Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. There is no question that Justice Scalia lived a life of loyal service to one of the most consequential institutions our Founding Fathers created. He understood as well as any public servant that a full and functioning Supreme Court is essential to the survival of our nation of laws, and he worked dutifully to fulfill his role in that process. And as we mourn the loss of a true public servant, we would also do well to ensure that the consequential questions of our time not be left hanging in the balance, twisted by politics, allowing our nation to move forward as our founders intended.”

Former Gov. Jeb Bush:

“Today we lost a great man whose principled service left our nation vastly better off. This afternoon at Mass, Columba and I prayed for Justice Scalia, who was devout in faith and has been brought home to God in heaven. Our prayers are also with his wife, Maureen, his children and his 28 grandchildren.

Justice Scalia was a brilliant defender of the rule of law — his logic and wit were unparalleled, and his decisions were models of clarity and good sense. 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.”

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera:

“I am saddened to hear about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was a truly incredible American. He was a brave defender of the law, who rightfully based his decisions on fact, the Constitution, and the founding principles of the country he served so honorably. Justice Scalia was never afraid to stand up for what was right, and his opinions encouraged our nation’s courts to return to their role of defending our Constitution. I extend by deepest condolences to his wife and entire family.”

Attorney General Pam Bondi:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia, one of the greatest legal minds of the last 100 years, passionately upheld the rule of law and served honorably on our nation’s highest court. He leaves behind a legacy of just service to our judiciary and loyalty for the U.S. Constitution. As our country mourns this great loss, my prayers are with his family.”

Florida GOP Chairman and state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia:

“Justice Antonin Scalia will be remembered as a brilliant legal mind, and missed for his commitment to guard American values. Our nation could always count on Justice Scalia to defend the constitution and protect our liberties. In his role, he helped shape the country we are today — for that he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, kids, and entire family.”

Former House Speaker Will Weatherford, via Twitter:

Justice Scalia brought humor, wit, principles and great conservative intellect to the Supreme Court. There is no replacing Antonin Scalia!

State Rep. Manny Diaz, via Twitter:

America has lost a true patriot, Rest in Peace Justice Scalia. We keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

State Rep. James Grant, via Twitter:

Antonin #Scalia will forever be the litmus test for any Strict Constructionalist. In wit, intellect, & principle, the man was unmatched.

State Rep. Matt Hudson, via Twitter:

One of the greatest conservative legal minds of our generation.

State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo:

“He was just larger than life in lots of ways. He loved the law. He was very conservative and his rulings were often times different than one would expect. I think most people would admire him greatly. It’s really tragic.”

State Rep. Paul Renner, via Twitter:

Deeply saddened at the passing of Justice Scalia, fierce defender of the Constitution and our liberties.

State Rep. Chris Sprowls, via Twitter:

Read hundreds of his opinions, but I met J. Scalia only once. It was enough to know he was perhaps the greatest legal mind in generations.

U.S. Senate candidate Todd Wilcox:

“Our nation suffers a tremendous loss today with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a true defender of our Constitution as written by the Founders of this great nation. His opposition to legislating from the bench preserved liberty and freedom for each and every American. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who had the honor of working with him in his daily pursuit of justice for all.”

Congressional candidate Mary Thomas, via Twitter:

As a @FedSoc member & Constitutional conservative attorney I have lost a hero.

Edward Gero as Justice Scalia in The Originalist at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater March 6-April 26, 2015. Photo by Tony Powell.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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