Ted Cruz leads Republicans' rush to demand Justice Scalia's SCOTUS replacement be named by next POTUS, not Obama

Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell immediately politicize successor search; Harry Reid calls on Obama to send a nominee

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published February 13, 2016 11:45PM (EST)

  (AP/Reuters/Richard Drew/Haraz N. Ghanbari/Chris Keane)
(AP/Reuters/Richard Drew/Haraz N. Ghanbari/Chris Keane)

News of Justice Antonin Scalia's death is just beginning to reverberate across the political world this evening, as the 79-year-old's passing at a West Texas resort on Saturday was confirmed a short time ago by the New York Times.

Doing away with any attempt to appear even remotely respectful and seizing upon the obvious political earthquake that is the passing of the Supreme Court's most conservative justice in the final year of President Obama's presidency, Ted Cruz got nakedly political in his reaction to Scalia's death, tweeting that Americans "owe it" to Scalia and ourselves to block Obama from nominating a successor:


Even Donald Trump showed more tact when reacting to Scalia's death:

But Marco Rubio repeated Cruz's crock that the people deserve a voice in naming Scalia's replacement via the 2016 election while dismissing the results of the 2012 election:

Ditto for Ben Carson:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who once argued in favor of a president's prerogative to nominate justices who share his ideology but has since vigorously opposed Obama's federal judicial nominees -- refusing to hold confirmation hearings for a historic amount of nominees, released a statement emphasizing his political take on Scalia's death and demanding that "this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President":

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid shot back, tweeting that McConnell's demand is a "shameful abdication of [the Senate's] consitutional responsibility":

Conservative commentators echoed Cruz's instinct to react to Scalia's death with demands to nullify Obama's last year in office:

On the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders kept with popular decorum and released a statement of mourning devoid of political jockeying:

And Fournier, Fourniers:

[H/T: Media Matters]

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia Tesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Antonin Scalia Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Twitter