tv Fox Report Saturday FOX News February 13, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
>> scalia was a lawyer in the '60s and worked in the neckson administration. no word yet on who is on the short list to replace scalia on the nation's highest court. in new york. brian ensis. >> new special coverage of the death of justice antonin scalia. he died in his sleep in a private resident in south texas. he was on a hunting trip. scalia was an influential conservative and his death loves the court in a stalemate. the task of nominating a replacement falls front and center in the the campaign. it will launch a furious battle
between the white house and congress. tonight, we remember the man and his legacy. with us is senator orrin hatch. he joins us from salt lake city. senator, first your thoughts on this day and justice scalia. >> he was one of the all- time great justices and was somebody you could enjoy with a sense of humor. and he was a very staunch conservative and believed that we had to interpret the laws as they are made and that is going to be a tremendous loss to the court. >> senator, i had the release earlier tonight from senator mitch mcconnell saying that the vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president? >> i thinky many people are going to feel that way. it is a pivotal scene on the
court no question about it. it would be wise for the next president to be chosen. it will be weather a democrat or republican. it just is the most. who is on the supreme court, it is the most important political issue in this election process for president. and you know, naturally you you have to have somebody that understands what the rule of judging really is. and many of the people in the democratic senate don't understand it at all. the judging has been not so sure the president understands that. >> you know there will be significant push back from the white house and democrats, there is a statement from harry reid about this. a vacancy is not just either. >> well, they can say whatever they want to say, but the fact
of the matter is, this was one of the all- time conservative justice on the court and i think the republicans are justified in saying the next president may make the next appointment. and the fact the of the matter is, that is probably a wise way of solving it. otherwise there will be a big dog fight you have ever seen and having scene the judges that the president appointed, of course, we are going to differ with the majority leader mcconnell. >> you think the republicans can hold the line on that? >> i think we'll have to go through the dark side of why we are holding the line. but it is an easy dog fight. you know, this is the most important vacancy in history at
least as far as i can see and it ought to be given every consideration from either side to make the appointment. and the only way to do that is wait until the next president was elected. >> we'll have many days to go back and forthwith the sides of how it is going forward. we will have time to reflect on antonin scalia as a person. you had many interactions with him. >> thank you, he was one of the all time most intelligence justices on the court. he also had plenty of opportunities to be in the middle and do other matters equally as he did as conservative opinions. he was liked by everybody be on the court and respected as is the best word for him. highly respected. and we are going -- it is a tragedy.
it is a real tragedy. i would rather him to be able to retire gracefully and do it at the right time. but this is a man who saw the court at its best and worst and worked all of his lifetime to make sure the law was followed and not just a bunch of political policies. he lived up to that. i am going to miss him terribly. he was one of the most wonderful men and one of the brightest people ever on the supreme court. >> senator orion hatch from utah. shannon? >> reporter: obviously the loss of justice scalia loves a gaping hole. he believes the word of the law
and constitution mean what they say and should be interpreted such. he was unwavering in his criticism and fiery dissents and he was unapologetic and he was very good friends with his opposites on the court and very close to justice ruth vader ginbergs. you would hear stories about taking her hunting and to the gun range and so far out of her comfort zone. he was really close to those on the court. even those he couldn't disagree with more on philosophy. there is a number of cases on the the court's docket. and justice scalia's vote they weren't issue. they are reworking and they will have to those cases in the discenting opinions. there is cases to be be heard
this term. from abortion to president's executive action on immigration and little sisters of the poor case and religious groups that are challenging the contraceptive man date and so there are many, many things that the court will be deciding on voting rights and affirmative action and all of those things that antonin scalia, or nino, would have decided. the lower court realing will stay in affect. we could have 4- 4 decisions and highly proable. and in essence leaving the lower court decision in place. first year that i covered the court. when we get those decisions in late june. you run out and get to the microphone quickly and accurately as you can. and we were down to the very
latest case can of the term about gun rights and ownership in dc, i picked up the lengthy and hefty decision and started to run for the cameras and soon as i saw justice scalia's name. i knew how it would be decided. he was all about second amendment and state's rights and constitution to the core and that is irreplaceable. he was approved unanimously in the senate. it is hard to it imagine that to happen today. the fight will be a big one. >> the supreme court will make a decision in the coming days, there will be a service and a lifelong catholic and devout catholic and probably a service in his church in virginia or st. matthews where the mass was held. scalia's body might be in repose
in the court building, with marshal william renquist. as we look at the flag half staff at the u.s. supreme court building. the last time there was a presidential election vacancy was in 1956 and the sudden death of sherman mitten. president eisenhower named william brennan in a recess appointment and was the most liberal member in the 34 legacy on the court and eisenhower later called his choice the "biggest damn mistake" he ever made. and now we are in unchartered political territory. it is interesting in playing out as we look at the life and legacy of justice scalia and the press releases of how this is
going to go forward. >> yeah, it could be an epic show down. you can't have a vacancy for a year. and of course, the president's party is going to want to make sure he has a chance. he already made two solid appointments to line up with his judicial and legal philosophy and if he gets a third, it could be one of his legacy defining features that he didn't expect to get. justice gins berg waived off concerns of them retiring this year. we are in a situation where someone in the conservative block would leave in the time year of the democratic president. it is unchartered territory and as you and i discussed, the supreme court just a couple of years ago, said the president
went too far when he made recess appointments. and i would imagine senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to keep the senate in session to prevent calls for recess appointment or the white house to say that the president has a right to do it. >> as always thank you. and we'll go back throughout the evening. and with us now republican senator jeff sessions. thank you for being with us. >> thank you, brett, it is a sad day and we lost one of the great justices that sat on the court. >> your thoughts as you look back in the life of antonin scalia. his impact on the court and on the u.s. supreme court? >> he was a intellectual leader of the philosophy that the constitution means what it says
it was on the way. they were meant in the time they were passed. and if congress wants to change the law or constitution it is not the judge's ability or power to make the constitution to say what they wish it said. we have seen it over and over again and he brilliantly time and time again skewered that flawed if i los foe. he was just a tremendous leader of an entire movement to retire the constitution and the court to at this time the role that it should be. >> senator, you know that there are cases that had been heard in the supreme court, that have not been decided yet. affirmative action and voting rights issues. and now it is 4- 4 for the time being.
what do you think the way forward is on this vacancy? >> there is it vacancy before. and there is it is a lot of key votes, 4- 4 and maybe more this time because the court is split. we have an activist group on the court that it believe bes that the judges have the duty and power to update the constitution and alter it to make it contemporary in its approach and the rule of law group that believes that you have to enforce the law as it was passed in congress or the constitution. i don't know that it is that unusual. but we might have a few more key cases held up. that's true. >> and if the president puts forward a nominee and said the senate must take it forward, what will happen? >> i think the senate will work its will and i don't think the
senate will be prepared to move a nominee at this late date and the appropriate thing is still out on of the next president to make this appointment and i am sure that is what will happen. president obama made two nominees and two appointments that have been confirmed and they are both activist and very much a part of a liberal wing of the court. and i don't think we'll see another one before the election. >> so if that does happen and the next president is responsibility for not only this election but others. how important is the issue on the campaign trail. >> i think it is very important. and all of the candidates will need to express to the american people in simple terms. and people want integrity in this express. what they look for in a judge. because it is really not so much politics, brett, it is really
the role of the constitution and the role of judges. are they neutral umpires? do they decide disputes or are they able to advance an agenda that goes beyond anything that the congress and people intended when the constitution and lawses were adopted? >> do you see that that will play out in examine coming week withes on the trail? >> i think it will. it was always going to happen i think. and it is even more so now. it will be critically important for the candidates. >> as i did with senator hatch. today is about the shock and absorption of the news that justice scalia has died and final thoughts with you and your interaction with him and what it means to the country. he's a w
brilliant lover of america and respecter of the constitution. a man of real deep faith that i think probably influenced his judicial decision making. wonderful family and so much fun to be with. and always quick with funny remarks and just remarkably brilliant person and clearly the leader of the attempt and movement that brought the court back to it a more traditional role. >> senator jeff sessions, senator, thank you for the time. >> just in vice-president cheney. i am very sorry to learn of the death of my good friend justice antonin scalia. he was a great american and finest of men. we look at the flag half staff. his allegiance to the constitution and personal
integrity reflected honor on the court of the united states. i deeply respected the long service be and counted him as a personal friend for more than 25 years. i am grateful for many happy hours in the company of this good upright, warm hearted american patriarch. nino's passing is a great sorry to the court and family. we are keeping them in our prayer ares at this sad hour. vice-president cheney with a statement. the white house is buzzing with news of justice scalia's passing. kevin cork is live in the white house. >> reporter: good evening to you, brett. we talked about the passing of justice scalia means to the white house and legacy of the president. as shannon pointed out
brilliantly, she talked about how the high court considered a number of important issues that relate to what the white house imposed. we have yet to hear from the president specifically. but if history is any guide we expect to hear from him directly. we received a statement from the press secretary eric shultz. the president was informed and the president and first lady extended condolences to justice scalia's family. we with expect to have more reaction from the president and just reading into that i suspect we'll hear from the president himself. i want to point out one thing. there will be plenty of days ahead in which we talk about the jurist that might be filling the legacy. it is important to point out.
that you are going to hear the white house beat the drum over the next several weeks and you cannot simply have the vacancy for amounts to a full year while the president remains in office. it is a surprise and when you think of the rigorous separation of powers. and what we have seen out of this white house. they will nominate someone if that ever gets to his desk. the president p will certainly want that to happen. back to you now. and if we hear, the president will make a statement. >> kevin, thank you. just moments ago, house speak per paul ryan with a statement saying that justice scalia did more to advance judicial restraint than anyone in our time and started with i dissent. the passing, he continues, as the speaker of the house of this brilliant jurist is a great
loss. but the writings with the plain language and constitutional moorings will guide generations to come. he was a devout catholic and believed in st. paul and commanded us to think soberly. and that justice scalia did and our republic is better for. it i learned so much from this man. i anyhow him and respected him and looked up to him. we all did. tonight jenna and i offer sympathy and prayers to justice scalia's family. it will likely be a huge element in the republican debate in greenville, south carolina, ahead of the primary today. john roberts is at the debate site tonight. >> reporter: yeah, it throws a new issue in the debate. there is some talk over the past few debates about the supreme court. it will take on a new sense of
urgency and reenforce the metszage that many candidates said of what is at stake in the election come november. we have reactions from all of the six remaining republican candidates. the one from ben carson. it is imperative that the senate not allow president obama to diminish his legacy by trying to nominate a individual to carry on wishes to subvert the people. given the democracy under the obama's agenda, i call on the senate to stop until we the people elect the president. >> rubio said the next president must nominate a justice to continue scalia's unwavering belief. and the next president. ted cruz said we owe it to him justice scalia and the nation
for the senate to insure that the next president names his replacement. from donald trump. he was a justice who did not believe in legislating from the bench and i held him in highest regard and will respect his intelligence and conviction. no message from the trump campaign that this should go to the next president and not this president. florida governor bush. he was a defender of the law and he had decisions in priority and good sense. he took the constitution and the responsibility of judges to interpret it correctly with seriousness. and now it is up for us to fight for the principle that justice scalia fought for. out of respect for the senators, no call for jeb bush to go to the next president. governor kasich is. i am deeply saddened by the passing of justice scalia and
send my prayers out. it is a loss for the nation and court. he was a principle force for conservative thought and a model for others to follow. his dedication for the constitution and love and service to our country will be missed. bernie sanders. i differed with justice scalia, he was brilliant and colorful and outspoken member of the supreme court. my thoughts and prayers with his family and courts. how this plays in tonight's debate, there is a new urgency in outreach to republicans not only in the state of south carolina that this is what is at stake for the followers of the republican party. marco rubio is forth right and to his detriment in the debate in new hampshire where president obama wants to take the country and how republicans need to resist that and band together in november and elect a republican
president p. i imagine you will hear marco rubio double down on that talk. and the issue of electability comes up and who is the most electable be one in november and go head-to-head with hillary clinton or bernie sanders. you heard lindsay graham a short time ago, he thought that disqualified ted cruz of texas. the cruz campaign not happy about what graham said. they are trying to get a rebuttal for the argument. the passing of justice scalia entered the political realm and will do so forcefully in the next few hours, brett. >> on that issue of senator cruz. he is well positioned here in so much time has passed. he was a clerk at the court and can he knows and talks about the constitution and can sticking to
it. and i imagine antonin scalia is one with of his heroes. and he is probably going to take that tact tonight. >> he is also to best of my knowledge the only candidate on the stage tonight who argued before the supreme court. and he is the one who probably on the stump talks about this. this is interspersed in his campaign. he appeared in the university and talked about the importance and nominating the justices. and that is also to marco rubio about this and i said who would you say our current justices on the supreme court whose ideological views and foundations of juris prudence that you want.
he named scalia and thomas. i don't know if it will dominant the debate, brett. but we'll hear about this. and those are the first questions out of the box starting at 9:00. >> john roberts, thank you. >> we'll head back in a bit. chuck grassly is out with a statement and he will factor in prominently back and fort about filling the vacancy. he first called antonin scalia brilliant and unwavering dedication to the constitution and this is senator grassly of the chairman of the judary committee. it is standard practice iks over 80 years to not confirm supreme court nominees in a presidential election year. given the huge divide in the country and the president uses court to circumvent congress and push through his own agenda, it
makes sense we defer to the american people to elect a new president the to select the next supreme court justice. eight have been confirmed in a presidential year as we look live at the supreme court. the last was 1972 with justice powell and justice william brennan was a recess appointment by president dwight eisenhower. we'll talk with republican congressman issa. thank you for being here. your thoughts, we are getting word that president obama intends to nominate someone for the the supreme court and do it pretty soon. >> i have no doubt he will nominate someone with his views of the constitution which is his right. the challenge is, quite frankly,
the senate confirms his his appointment the court changed. antonin scalia was the conscience and the lion and dissenter not because he wanted an outcome, but because he would interpret the constitution as most people don't know, he often could be with the the majority and then tell them how they reached their conclusion wrong. he did so and had that much belief, you have to truly look at the constitution properly and make your assessment. i spent more time with justice scalia than all of the other justices combined. and the statement has said that the justice gave himself to the public be and to members of congress the access that it we give us regularly was amazing. he couldn't answer our questions sometimes the way we would like.
he often told us that our views of what we would like to it have were inconsistent with the constitution, that was part of his greatness. without him on the court 4- 4 decisions will be no decision and with someone on the court different and stand point of the respect for the constitution, decisions of course, will go the opposite. and so whether this happens or not during the last year of president the president, the court has been changed. >> congressman issa, we'll talk about the process and what is happening going forward and a lot about the vacancy. again it is about the life and legacy of the man and you had had a lot of interactions with him. he had the most scathing dins cents. but he was an a fabable
character on and off of the court. your reflections on dealing with it. >> his true sense of humor. people would view him because of his view on life and his view on the constitution with disdain, and upon meeting him would say my goodness. he is a wonderful man and how can he make wonderful decisions. and the left was disarmed by the fact he had a good heart and sense of humor and wonderful wit. the right sometimes didn't fully appreciate that he was sometimes smarter than the politics and that is going to be one of the great losses. people who come before conservatives and either they had reached the wrong conclusions. or they roaeached it because of
the wrong decisions. the court has made bad decisions in its history, and i think justice scalia in the long run will be seen in a number of areas right, but not yet in the majority. >> the last justice to die in office. william ren quist at the age of 81 in the presidency of president joefrj w. bush and robert jackson in 1954, this does not happen that often. and when it does, it is obviously a major event in washington and throughout the nation. >> it is. and the court is such a small organization and every single member has a profound affect on decisions. people look at 5- 4 decisions that are going to be changed as a result of his passing.
but they forget the six or sen unanimous and come from people expressing ideas during the process. and as you say, this does not happen. when it does happen, sometimes it is the party of a president that makes the decision. and consistent with that judge's or justice's predecessor. and sometimes it isn't. in this case, it is one of the challenges, this was not expected. and the fact is, we were all looking to the next president and both parties were saying, that this matter is because of the appointments. and we are dealing with it in had the hypothetical future. >> if there is a hold out by the republicans with not going forward with the one the president nominates and there is a stand off and back and forth and republicans pushing for the next president to make the
appointment. the president could make a recess appointment and that was justice potter stewart appointed by president the eisenhower in 1956, and nominated, and then it took an entire supreme court term before he was approved by the senate. could you see is a scenario, that the president and administration makes a recess appointment to fulfill the vacancy of justice scalia. >> the answer is yes, the president made recess appointments to findy he violated the constitution because there was no recess. it is a constitutional question. and the senate may not in fact go into recess. but the end of term on january 3rd of the senate is a critical time. if we don't adjourn, will there be an opportunity for the president? if he waits until january 3rdrd.
he can do it and he would leave a one- term legacy or longer depending on what happens i senate. between now and the end of the term of members of congress, the outcome of decisions of the court will be different as a result is of justice scalia being gone. and the court is likely to be permanently changed and possibly because of a recess appoint sxment then, of course, will the senate be in republican hands or democratic hands. i think more than anyone could have imagined one day ago. senate races, north carolina, new hampshire, one- third of senators will have a different discussion. it will not be hypothetical. are you going to confirm and if so, why not. conservatives will be furious with who ever the president puts
up. and the liberals will make a litmus test. it will change the debate tonight. and i think it favors ted cruz and marco rubio, who are in fact long- time supporters of justice scalia who do constantly talk on the trail of original intent and the constitution only changed by the american people and not an activist court. >> congressman, thank you for your time. to point out about both sides of the aisle respecting justice scalia, no matter the divide. this is a statement from bernie sanders. while i differ ared with justice scalia's views and jurisprudence. he was a brilliant and colorful and outspoken member of the supreme court. my thoughts and prayers are on his family and members of the court that mourn his passing.
justice scalia dying of natural cases after a quayle hunting trip in west texas. right now a form of 2014, where he and justice gins theberg talked about the first amendment and the role of the u.s. supreme court. >> it is not our responsibility to shape up the executive and make sure you know, they are doing what they are supposed to or shape up the congress. that is not our job. our job is to prevent people from being harmed. if no one is harmed we don't get in the matter. unless he comes to us, we don't have self starting powers. we are at the mercy of who ever brings a case or doesn't want to bring a case. >> one of his closest friends justice gins berg. we'll get thoughts from chris wallace. >> it is fascinating to see them together.
ruth vader- ginberg. we talked about his sarcastic pen when he lost cases. scalia would take off after the majority and that would include his best friend on the court. ruth vader- ginsberg. and they went to the opera here in washington and he would just give the issue and off of the court they were dear, dear friends and you showed he was able and other justices were able to separate how they felt on the issues and how they felt about each other. and one of the times i asked justice scalia about that and taking things personally. look, there is nine of us in the room. you spend more time with them than your husband or wife and it is it a lifetime appointment.
if you took it all personally you couldn't cosift. and the other way scalia did business on the bench. we heard they got an half an hour or hour to argue it before the supreme court. the fact is, soon as the first lawyer gets pro or con and starts to talk. they get interrupted and no one interrupted more from the bench than scalia. he would, if it was a lawyer on the other side of the case, arguing that he was not going to favor, he would put them through the paces. he was trying to make a point by asking i a question of the lawyer on his side or the other side. he was really trying to argue to the other justices and say here's why i am right and that person is right or wrong. he argued with the questions from the bench. >> we always heard the audio and
never got video out of the u.s. supreme court, at least yet, the audio of justice scalia, chris, making those points and making those questions from the bench, it was tough to read where he was. but you anyhow it was animated one way or the other? >> he was always making a case and since he couldn't argue from the bench. he would ask a question that would provoke the argument by the lawyers in the case and try to make the case to the other justices, i will say that while he was a giant the court, he may not have been the most influential member of the court. there is a lot of analysis. he set himself apart. there is a politics behind the scenes in the court and certain people that are comprimisers and that is five votes and scalia would stakeout a firm position and he didn't care about five.
he would like that but he was not opposed to the others, like justice roberts or kennedy. they would be the swing vote in terms of bringing people along by shaving the argument and he would get someone to go along with him. scalia didn't do that. he stood right where he believed the argument was and as a result maybe not as influential as the centerist of the court tilting to the right or left. >> you can see the battle developing on the vacancy. we heard that president obama will move forward with a nomination and senator harry reid saying it is a crucial thing for the senate to move forward. and hearing mitch mcconnell that that will not happen. if he has control over it and it should be the next president to make the appointment. this could be a huge battle in washington, even as the issue
plays out on the presidential campaign trail. >> think about it, brett. this is a president who basically decided to give up on congress and start issuing excutive action that have been struck down by the supreme court. and his appointments were struck down and you don't get to decide when it is in recess. he will clearly nominate somebody be and he said i am the president and why can't i nominate someone and he will push it hard and it will get political. and whether he's able to get the nominee through or not, he will argue this is who i want and this is the republicans who don't want this kind of person and issues brought up. i thought darril issa made an interesting point. the court will not go in -- the
senate will not go in recess. but the term runs out and his term is not until january 20th of 2017 and he has according to my math 17 days where they will be adjourned and not in recess. this is a president with two and half weeks left appointing a supreme court justice and the senate can't do anything about it. that is interesting. >> yeah, chris, it is going to be fascinating and he laid out the calendar there. and joining us on the phone is iowa steve king. congressman thank you for being here. first your thoughts on the day and the legacy of justice antonin scalia. >> my first is expressions to family and friendlieds and our hearts and prayers go out to the family of justice scalia and
friends and associates in the country. we are going through transformative times and unexpected. and once you get over the shock and look at implications and i am seeing that transition on fox which i thank you for. and listening to what darril issa said and thinking about the next congress. we are are going to have to look at a number of these things going forward and it doesn't surprise me that the president is determined to make an appointment and almost universal solidarity on the parts of the republicans in the senate to block an appointment. what is hang nothing the balance is the constitution itself. one judicial appointment away from losing the majority of even those who look like they are leaning toward. and justice scalia was the leader of that and legacy.
and the huge personality he was. i am going through emotions and thinking of missing that personality. he was my guest speaker as i chair the conservative opportunity society and i have for over ten years and our guest three times most recently february 4th of 2015. we'll miss his personality and his intellect and our constitution will be hanging in the balance depending on who is out on this and if there is a prudent appointment of a jurist that believes that scalia did that the constitutional believes what it said. >> congressman before i get to the process of filling the vacancy and are very important as i talked about with chris wallace. the reflections on the man. he was a speaker for you. and he had the ability to be
larger in life in any room. he was not pc and hold his cards close to the vest. he was funny and hilarious by some accounts and your reflections on him. >> i loved the man and i could just sit and listen to him for hours. and it was terrific for the other members to flock to it him. this legacy of justice scalia was the remark that there are cases that come before the court that are constitutional. the policy of them however is stupid. and he said multiple times, he just needed a stamp stupid but constitutional. and move on. and i loved the way he described his decisions also. he would say that when he had the most confidence in the constitution
constitutionality. when he disagreed and uncomfortable with the policy that resulted from that decision but he made the decision because it sufficiency constitutional. stupid but constitutional. and that catches the flavor of the constitutional conviction of justice scalia and his sense of humor and he hammered it home well. and i haven't heard that yet today. he wrote a the lot of dissenting opinions and they were with biting sarcasm and humor and he wrote those prospects as i understand it for the law school students that are compelled to read the dissent and he may not win out in the the argument. but he was changing hearts and minds and he will do that as long as there is a history of the united states of america. >> this will play out in the presidential campaign and it is
sort to come up there. senator ted cruz who you endorsed out with a statement saying it is a loss of a great justice and a champion of liberty and stalwart defender of the constitution. he offered some of the most important decisions including district of colombia versus heller that was to keep and bear arms. senator cruz was a clerk at the supreme court. you endorsed him. do you believe that he will talk about this from a personal perspective on the debate stage? >> i believe he will, brett. and i can only anticipate. he is already, his life has been built on a thing that is coming at him tonight. there is no way to prepare for this in this magnitude. i recall a long conversation in iowa a couple of weeks ago about the judicial appointments.
and that is a central concern of mine and concluding that the constitution hangs in the balance with the next judicial appointment and the next president could get 2 or 3 appointments. and senator ted cruz would read the decisions of the potential applicants and nominees and he would pour through them to see their record. if if they have a long and reliable record a decade or so and anchored backing to the text and original happening of the constitution. and they will be considered for an appointment. and those who don't have a long history and didn't work out so well with the court. without that record behind them, to insure they are not constructionist or originist. and i think you will hear him say that tonight. i am glad i am not in the debate. >> yeah, a lot of people in that
boat. congressman, on a sad day, we appreciate your thoughts and time. we'll talk about p all of this and the scalia replacement and rinse preibus joins us from south carolina. mr. chairman, your thoughts on the day and justice scalia. >> well, like everyone, we are shell shocked by the whole thing, but you look back be at this great american and justice scalia, and we are thinking about the family and praying for them and the kids and the grandkids and that is an appropriate place for us to be tonight and think about that and pray for peace for the family. and the politics will come later. i know everyone wants to get in the politics right away. there is more important things to talk about tonight in the debate in regard to this and important decisions that presidents have to make and
a reflection of the magnitude in the hands of americans in choosing a person to lead this country and what is at stake. and certainly picking people to lead our court is one of the greatest powers of the president. >> you are right mr. chairman, first and foremost it is about recognizing the legacy of the man. and playing back underneath it is the president and whether or not he will put forward someone and now we are hearing he will. the top democrat said the president will and call on the senate to have its constitutional duty to nominate and confirm a new supreme court justice. the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said that will not happen. what do you say about filling the vacancy. >> it is a tough place for me to
be. my job is politics and highly charged and parse partisan. and trying to put that, cool that off tonight obviously i think there is other things to think about with his family. i take my lead from the leadership in the united states senate. mitch mcconnell has the votes and without him and his votes, there will not be be fast tracking of a supreme court justice. but you know, chuck grassly said the same thing. and i think people should look at what they are saying, as far as where this is going to go. i think mitch mcconnell doesn't just issue statements and releases that he doesn't fully believe in to his core. i think that is the best indicator of where this will be for the rest of the year. >> chairman at the debate site, we'll see you in detroit
march 3rd. >> we'll bring in our panel. steve hays and david drucker for the washington examine canner. first thoughts, legacy and the man, steve? >> i think antonin scalia will be one of the most influential justices in the supreme court and very few peopl that. you look at his dissents and he left a guide for people who follow him, not only on the supreme court but in lower courts as well. to a true understanding of the original intent of the founders. it is it something we don't spend enough time talking about. and liberals look to him. and i think they are wrong. one of the things that the presidential election is fought over is returning to that original intent of the founder ares or whether we disregard many of the things that was said
and that was a point of emphasis for him. we had antonin scalia at the weekly standard in january of 2010, i want to say, he spent two hours with us all off of the record and i can't get into detail. but couple of things stood out. he was hilarious. side splittingly funny and many of us had tears rolling down our face as he told stories about the court and his past times and hunting with various people in washington that everybody knows. but secondly, i was deeply impressed with his impression for intellect. he cared about intellect more than ideology to me. we had a conversation with prospective supreme court justices and who president obama might think in the future. and there was not an opening at the time.
and we talk about elenna kagan. and our recollection to refresh our memories on this. he said i would be overjoyed to work with somebody who has an incredible intellect as elenna ka gan. and went on at some length to describe how impressed he was with her and all of her capacity. and that is what they see him as painted by the political reporting and people who don't know him. he cared so deeply about the intellect and ability to cut through the nonsense even when he ended up disagreeing. >> a personal story. i sat with him on the friendly sons of st. patrick. he was an honorary member and his wife was on the irish. and he was first italian american on the supreme court.
he was hilarious and he reached out to all wait with -- waiters and waitresses and he said to them. don't forget. keep that it red wine going. and he was just an character. and your thoughts on what it means for the court? >> if scalia ends up being replaced by somebody who is left center, the balance on the court that has held and given republican something to hang on to in the past decade or definitely in the obama administration is going to shift left. that is it implicate for possibly a generation, and particularly obviously if a democrat is elected to succeed obama. it is it a big moment for the court because how closely divided it is and resemiblemmed
the country. you are sees mitch mcconnell who normally doesn't move quick say so fast, this is not happening until the next president is seated. >> that was a stunning statement. obviously he offered condolences and talked about justice scalia and his service and tied to the constitution and then to say the american people should have a selection in the voice of the next supreme court. senator mcconnell said the vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. >> people need to understand. he is the political leader of the senate on the republican side. he takes a queen interest in the supreme court and legal issues. he is one of the driving forces in getting things overturned on free speech issues and constantly pushing in. and i check on a source that
follows mcconnell. is this going to it hold? this is literally the reason a gop majority is so important. he will see this one through. >> stand by if you would. we have texas congressman ratcliff who considered justice scalia a legend for conservatives and sits on the house judiciary committee. congressman, thanks for your time and your thoughts tonight. >> like everyone. it was a tremendous loss. and justice scalia was a brilliant mind and gifted writer and most importantly, he was an unwavering conservative and he will go down to one of the most respected justices on the high court and it will be difficult to replace him. >> on most nights as now is the trend, social media factors in. top google trends.
justice scalia and gay messenger. you know, justice scalia wrote a scathing dissent and people on the cops conside of the legal issue say it was one of the best written. >> it is hard to choose. so many of his dissents will be remembered as classic. he had a very plainspoken style, writing style and it was hard to find fault in his reasoning or his logic. everything was moored to the constitution. they were sarcast and i can furruous and entertaining. and that made him a favorite of so many conservatives. and this night, also deals with that. the vacancy and filling it. your thoughts as the back and
forth starting to develop here in washington? >> i am not in the senate and the house does not confirm judicial appointments. but the president gets to nominate and the senate gets to confirm. and like everyone. i heard what mitch mcconnell said. listen, i don't want to talk partisan politics tonight. i would say as someone who has seen the president who has not shown respect for the constitution or rule of law generally, this is the last president i would want to see appoint justice scalia's successor. i don't know if people are vote counting already. i hope not. i hope we respect and pay tribute to the family and pray for his family and let the politics run its course. >> congressman, thank you. it is almost in the top of the
moment. outside at the supreme court flag is half staff for the death of antonin scalia who died at age 79 after a hunting trip in west texas. we'll reset for the viewers now joining us. >> this is a fox news alert. i am bret baier in washington. continuing coverage of the death of justice scalia. there is reaction from all over the country, both to scalia, the man, the jurist and emerging political fire storm over who picks his replacement. president obama said he will nominate someone son. and the republicans want to wait until they have a new president hopefully one of their