U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died at the age of 79, according to a government source and family.
Scalia died in his sleep during a visit to Texas.
Vermont, New Hampshire and New York leaders reacted to Scalia’s passing.
“This is sad news indeed,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D - NY) in a statement. “While I disagreed with him on so many issues, Justice Scalia was a brilliant man with a probing mind. He was a great son of Queens with a genuine joy for life.”
“I am deeply saddened by Justice Scalia's sudden passing,” said Senator Kelly Ayotte (R - NH) in a statement. “Our country has lost a staunch defender of our Constitution and a brilliant jurist, and I am very grateful for his distinguished service to our nation.”
"Justice Scalia was a wise voice and strong proponent of the Constitution and American values,” said Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement. “He was a true legend and a towering figure on the court whose acute legal mind forged a legacy of protecting our freedoms and the Constitution. His decisions will continue to shape our country for years to come and his presence will be sorely missed. I send my condolences to his wife Maureen and his nine children as we keep his entire family in our thoughts and prayers.”
“While I differed with Justice Scalia’s views and jurisprudence, he was a brilliant, colorful and outspoken member of the Supreme Court,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I - Vt.) in a statement.
“Although I often did not agree with his legal opinions, no one doubted his commitment or his brilliance. I hope that no one will use this sad news to suggest that the President or the Senate should not perform its constitutional duty. The American people deserve to have a fully functioning Supreme Court,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vt.) in a statement.
Senate and House Republicans have vowed to block President Barack Obama’s appointed replacement until a new president is elected in November. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R - KY) in a statement.
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