tv ABC World News ABC February 13, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
valentine's day. see you again at 6:00. welcome to "world news tonight." breaking news. supreme court justice antonin scalia has died. the longest-serving justice on the nation's high court, a towering figure, known for his blistering dissents, his strict interpretation of the constitution. the court and the conservative movement suffering a huge loss. team coverage tonight. plus, the extreme freeze. and a deadly whiteout. a sudden snow squall triggers a massive accident, shutting down a major interstate. >> just sounded like two bombs went off. >> more than 40 people rushed to the hospital. and, carolina clash. republicans gearing up for a big debate. trump versus cruz. >> it's going to get hassie ihar and nastier and hassier. >> and so much on the line for rubio, kasich and bush.
and good evening. thank you for joining us on this saturday. i'm tom llamas. and let's get right to that breaking news. supreme court justice antonin scalia has died. he passed away in his sleep while on a hunting trip in texas. justice scalia was the longest-serving justice on the high court. an imposing conservative force, win or lose. chief justice john roberts calling scalia, quote, an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. president obama offering condolences to justice scalia's family. we begin with abc's martha raddatz. >> reporter: antonin scalia was appointed to the high court by ronald reagan in 1986, a lifelong paradigm of conservative. he was famous for his blunt dissents. thatter arned him a reputation being combative, though many that knew him personally said he was both charming and funny. one of his closest friends on the court, liberal justice ruth
bader against werg. and striking down a prohibition on hate speech. contrarily, he worked to limit the right to abortion and was unapologetic about his role in bush v gore, the ruling that handed the 2000 election to george w. bush. just last year, scalia made headlines, voicing his dissent of the 6-3 decision to uphold a key component of the affordable care act, or obamacare, calling it, interpretive jiggery pokery, in which words no longer have meaning. saying the law should now be called scotuscare. one day later when the high court ruled for same-sex marriage, scalia wrote that the ruling was at odds with the constitution, and the principles on which the nation were built. scalia, over the years who had
become the anchor of the court's con serbive majority was confirmed by the senate 30 years ago, 98-0. and just a short time ago, former president george w. bush released a statement about the death of justice scalia, saying he was a brilliant jurist, an important american. tom? >> martha raddatz for us tonight. martha, thank you. let's get right to abc's terry moran, who covers the supreme court for us. he joins us from mexico city, where he's on assignment covering the pope's trip to mexico. terry, the court has lost a force tonight. your thoughts? >> reporter: absolutely. justice antonin scalia, just a towering presence on that court. and in american law in general. a hero to conservatives, an arch enemy for liberals. because of the force and the el jens and often, the effectiveness of how he hammered into law his bedrock belief. something he called textualism.
the constitution means what it meant when it was wrote and ratified. and that, he said consistently for 30 years on the court. he won some. he lost a lot more. though win or lose, the force of his prose and his ideas was infectio infectious, with all kinds of law professors, law students, judges, justices and politicians. his legacy is in the court, in the law, and beyond in the conservative movement. >> terry, the so-called conservative wing of the supreme court, fair to say scalia was the backbone of that wing? >> reporter: he was. but he was not really a team player. he was so full of himself, frankly, and his ideas, that, if you didn't come with him, he was willing to go his own way. and that's why his dissents ring out. he was free to write for himself and he did, because he was playing the long game.
it wasn't tactically voting and trying to persuade other justices on a case. he was trying to set the terms of debate in the law. and like him or loathe him, and americans do both, he wasn't a guy who inspired middle of the road sentiment, he did that. he did change the terms of debate in american law, though he didn't always win. >> terry, thank you for your insight. i want to bring in now chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. jon, 11 months left in obama's presidency, and i know this news is still very fresh. but what are the chances that obama will be able to pick scalia's replacement? >> reporter: i fully expect that the president will make a nomination. that he will nominate somebody to fill that seat. but we have already heard from the republicans who control the senate, which will be responsible for confirming that nomination, that they believe they should wait until the next president. very sharp, simple statement from the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell came out not long after news broke about scalia's death, saying the american people should have a voice in the selection of their
next supreme court justice, and theref therefore the vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. >> we have two campaigns right now, we're going to have an election. can the republicans really block it for 11 months? >> reporter: the answer is yes, they can. they control the senate, the first step would be senate judiciary committee hearings. they can stop it right there by not scheduling the hearings. they can decline to hold a vote. they can declay this as long as they control the senate. >> jonathan karl, thank you. the death of the supreme court justice shifting the focus of tonight's gop debate. the candidates now focusing on the future of the court, while taking aim at each other. abc's mary bruce in south carolina for us tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a critical moment in the gop race for president. the candidates, tearing each other apart. set to faceoff on a debate stage in south carolina. >> find out where he gets his money. >> reporter: donald trump and ted cruz poised for an ugly evening. >> as it gets closer, it's going to get nastier and nastier and
nastier and they get personal, they get ugly. >> reporter: and it's already pretty ugly. with one primary win each, cruz and trump are clobbering each other to take the third contest. trump taking it to a new level, threatening to sue. tweeting, "if ted cruz doesn't clean up his act, stop cheeatin and doing negative ads, i have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen." cruz punching right back. >> there's more than a little irony in donald accusing anyone of being nasty. >> reporter: already looking beyond the primary, cruz is taking on clinton in a vicious new ad. ♪ damn it feels good to be a clinton ♪ ♪ a shameless politician ♪ always plays her cards right >> let's dispel with this fiction that barack obama doesn't know what he's doing. he knows exactly what he's doing. >> reporter: senator marco rubio will try to turn things around, and avoid a repeat of his dismal performance at the last debate. ohio governor john kasich, hoping to ride the wave of his strong second place finish in new hampshire, appealing to religious voters. >> i found the lord a long time ago. >> reporter: hi, governor, how are you?
he insists all the talk about his faith isn't part of a deliberate strategy. >> look, whether i win or lose, my life is great. and the lord loves me. and, so, it is not about, like, i'm going to deploy something to win a vote. if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. >> reporter: and tom, every candidate here tonight has a lot to lose. south carolina is known for picking the republican nominee. so, while trump and cruz duke it out at center stage, the other candidates will be trying to break through, reaching out to traditional conservative supporters. tom? >> mary, thank you. we want to let you know that we are waiting for any moment for the president to speak about the passing of justice scalia and we will bring that to you as soon as it happens. we move on now to the extreme weather that is happening on the east coast of the country and a deadly traffic pileup. a sudden snow squall in central pennsylvania. take a look at that. causing dozens of cars to pile up on a major interstate. dozens of people injured. 40 hospitalized. three losing their lives. abc's eva pilgrim reporting from pennsylvania tonight.
>> reporter: it seemed to come out of nowhere, blinding snow triggering this massive pileup. killing three people, leaving at least 40 injured. >> we have at least 15 people trapped on the westbound lane. >> reporter: more than 50 vehicles on i-78 in pennsylvania caught in the crash. five medical chopper rushing to the scene. one moment, the road was clear. the next, whiteout conditions. >> have all ems come to 78 and go westbound in the eastbound lane. >> reporter: snow squalls barrelling across pennsylvania highways today, catching drivers offguard. >> it just sounded like two bombs went off. there was a couple people laying out. and trucks and cars all smashed, cars underneath tractor trailers, in between tractor trailers. and it was just total destruction. >> reporter: dozens of ambulances shuttling some of those drivers to a local firehouse to keep them out of the bitter cold. tonight, everyone has been rescued, but cars and trucks still scattered on the interstate. tom, you can see the cleanup is continuing. the interstate will remain closed until about midnight tonight.
state officials asking people to stay off the roads unless they absolutely need to travel. tom? >> a mangled mess behind you. eva, thank you. that squall part of a front that is also bringing arctic cold from the midwest to north carolina to maine. more than 100 million people in its path. take a look at this. minus 16 on the thermometer in cedar falls, iowa. the few people ventured out, bundled up like this woman in new york city. here's abc's phillip mena with the dangerous weather. >> reporter: whiteouts mixed bitter cold, sweeping east tonight. what does it feel like? >> it's freezing. >> reporter: more than 100 million people bearing bone-chilling temperatures. cities across the northeast declaring a code blue. police racing to get the homeless off the street. new york city could feel the coldest air in years. wind chills expected to dip to 40 below upstate. and that's where we find meteorologist indra petersons. >> here in lake erie, you can actually see the line of lake effect snow that is forming. something you should not be
seeing in february, as the lake should be frozen over. >> reporter: we've seen on thermal cameras how the body's heat escapes around collars and zippers. >> the face is mostly cold. >> reporter: doctors urging people to take this weather seriously. >> if you're out with exposed skin, in as little as 10 to 15 minutes, you can start feeling symptoms of burning, stinging, pain. >> reporter: after you've been in the cold, take your time warming up. don't rub your hands together. that can only cause more damage. and use lukewarm water, not hot, to wash your hands. another concern? your home's water pipes. keep a steady drip, so those pipes don't freeze. and know where that shutoff valve is in case they burst. >> should you have a pipe freeze, should you have a pipe burst, you need to know how to shut it off. >> reporter: and tom, another tip to prevent those pipes from freezing? experts say you should keep the thermostat on your home at a consistently warm temperature. and inside your home is exactly where you should be tonight. officials are advising people in this region to stay inside. tom? >> phillip mena, thank you.
overseas tonight to new fingerpointing to the war in syria. russia and u.s. trading barbs. those failures leaving the flood of refugees with little hope. abc's alex marquardt reporting tonight. >> reporter: relentless russian air strikes have reduced towns and villages in northern syria to rubble. it's allowed the assad regime to besiege its biggest city, aleppo. it's sent a new flood of syrians, some 50,000, toward the border with turkey. aid groups are now frantically building tents amid fears that hundreds of thousands more will soon be on their way. turkey is keeping the border closed for now. there's been a steady stream of trucks like this one delivering aid to the displaced inside syria. the few who are being allowed out are the wounded from the fighting. at the main hospital, we met 18-year-old anad.
he told us that those russian air strikes leveled the villages where his family is from. his family moved, and that house was struck, as well. shrapnel from the blast, paralyzing him from the waist down. watchdog groups say the russian air campaign has killed 1,000 civilians. russia denies targeting them. today, the u.s. accused russia of focusing its bombing on rebels instead of isis and al qaeda. there is a glimmer of hope. the u.s. and russia have announced a cease-fire in syria to begin next week. bull that hope threatened by distrust and ever-deepening divisions. alex marquardt, abc news, on the turkey/syria border. and still ahead tonight, you will see and hear the moment 1,400 workers learned their jobs are moving to mexico. this just got interesting. why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom?
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good evening. i'm tom yom has. president obama is set to speak about the passing of supreme court justice antonin scalia. he passed away during a hunting trip in texas. he was the longest-serving justice on the high court and an imposing figure. john roberts calling scalia an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. we are awaiting the president to speak at any moment now from southern california, where he was on vacation. we understand that the president is intending to possibly nominate someone before his presidency is up. now, republican senators have said they will block any nomination until the election is over, which is still 11 month s now. as we said, at any moment, the president will take the podium there. justice scalia was 79 years old. we understand he was on a hunting trip in the western part of texas, as -- and he apparently died from natural causes. senior white house correspondent
jonathan karl is with us now what do we expect the president to say? >> reporter: i expect the president -- well, there he is. >> good evening, everybody. for almost 30 years, justice antonin scalia was a larger than life presence on the bench. 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 l d landscape. he will 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 st n
trenton, new jersey, to an italian imgrant family. after graduating from georgetown university and harvard law school, and he taught law before entering a life of public service. he rose from assistant attorney general for the office of legal council to the judge on the d.c. circuit court to associate justice of the supreme court. a devout catholic, he was a 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 ginsburg. 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 in 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 de deepest sympathies to his 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. >> and we were just listening to president obama, talking about the passing of justice scalia. calling him a remarkable man and also saying that right now, him and michelle obama, the first lady, are thinking about the scalia family, but saying hi intends to fulfill nominating a successor to the supreme court and with that, i like to bring in jonathan karl. we just heard the president say he plans on doing this. will he be able to get it done? >> reporter: well, he can certainly nominate a replacement and i expect that he will. but the question is, will the republican-controlled senate move on that nomination? will they hold hearings on that nominate? the word from the republican majority leader, mitch
mcconnell, is that he believes that the appointment and replacement of scalia should be done by the next president, and i would expect that they will not move forward whatsoever on this. but this will be -- this will be quite a battle and be a battle that will play out not only here in washington, between the white house and congress, but on thea campaign trail, as well. we've already heard from hillary clinton, saying that she bengress has a constitutional responsibility to act on a replacement. and we've heard from republican presidential candidates, saying that they have absolutely -- they think there is no way that president obama should be the person that should be replacing, in his last year in office, his last months in office, the person who has been the constitutional icon, the constitutional ballast of the supreme court. >> the president set to face one of his most heated political battles, just before he exits the white house. jonathan karl, thank you for your help tonight. we're going to return now to regular programming, which for
some of you is "world news tonight." there will be much more on this tomorrow on "good morning america," as well as "this week" and "world news tonight" as well tomorrow. thank you so much for joining us. good night. >> this has been a special report from abc news. and welcome back. we resume with "world news tonight." with pope francis' historic trip to mexico. his first full day on the ground. tens of thousands chieering him along the way. a face to face meeting with mexico's president. the pope preaching against corruption. at his meeting with the bishops, urging humility, saying the mexican people don't need more princes. back here at home, police hit by gunfire once again. this time in baton rouge, louisiana. two police officers wounded in a shootout after a two-mile chase with an armed suspect. it's the latest in a flurry of attacks on law enforcement across the country in recent days. both officers and the suspect
were taken to the hospital. all are expected to make it. >> you n now to a freak accident in boston. a 200-pound manhole flew into traffic, crashing into a car drove by a teacher. she was skilled instantly. no word on what caused that cover to go airborne. when we come back, more on tonight's breaking news, the death of supreme court justice scalia. stay with us. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to a rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira helping me reach for more. doctors have been prescribing humira for more than ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers,
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karl. >> reporter: well, we heard a very clear statement from the president, saying that he fully intended to fulfill his constitutional duties and to nominate a replacement for justice scalia. the interesting thing is, even before he did that, tom, as you had an equally strong statement coming from the senate majority leader, republican mitch mcconnell, saying that he believes that the replacement, the next supreme court justice, should be named by the next president. so, we have a bit of a -- a bit of a standstill here. i fully expect the president will follow through on what he said tonight, and i fully expect that republicans in the senate will follow their constitutional prerogative, which is to say, no, they're not going to move forward. i don't even think we'll get to the point of having hearings on a nominee by president obama. it is a rather extraordinary circumstance. something we really have never seen. i mean, if you go back, the last time we had a president able to confirm a justice in his last year in office, it was president reagan, in 1988.
>> political fight for president obama. jon, thank you so much. let's go back to abc's terry moran in mexico city. you knew justice scalia's presence on the court very well. talk to us about his legacy tonight. >> reporter: well, tom, justice scalia is literally irreplaceable for conservatives. because of the force of his opinions, but also because there's not going to be another one like him. the supreme court is now a battlefield in american politics. in a way it wasn't when he was confirmed way back in 1986. one of the things that he brought to court was a rich, relishing of combat, of intellectual combat, but it never got personal with him. he was a man who had a very warm personality, who was a funny guy, often cracked up the courtroom, sometimes in the most serious cases. and he had a gift for friendship on that court. his closest friends on the court, probably ruth bader ginsburg, perhaps the most liberal justice, and even justice kagan, who he used to take quail hunting. but what really set him apart was just the ferocity of his
opinions. his determination to change american law. and that, at the end of the day, is something that i think we can all say, like him or not like him, he achieved. tom? >> a larger than life personal till for those that knew him. terry, thank you. we'll have more on the passing of justice scalia on "gma" and "this week" in the morning. i'm tom llamas. we'll see you right back here tomorrow night. have a grad evening. good night.
next next, towering figure in american legal circles, supreme court justice antonin scalia passes away. >> the implications behind the sudden loss of the powerful conservative. plus, major changes begin today at one of san francisco's busiest bus corridors. abc7~news at 6:00 starts now. that breaking news. the loss of a supreme court justice who has been at the center of some of our nation's biggest social and political decisions. antonin schoola, dade e dead at the age of 79. justice scalia controlled the conservative side of the supreme court. he was a some reed debater and influential man in washington. tonight the flag outside the
supreme court is flying another half staff. president obama commented about the passing, talking scalia's presence on the bench. >> brilliant legal mind with an energetic style, incisesive wit and colorful decisions and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. >> here's more about scalia's sudden death. >> reporter: good evening, justice scalia's passing, his sudden death has the potential to be a political game-changer as the anchor of the court's conservative wing passes in the desk of a liberal presidency. >> antonin scalia was found dead of apparent natural cause as a resort in west texas. he died in his sleep. scalia was the longest serving justice on the current united states supreme court, nominated by president ronald reagan in 1986. >> each getting no