tv ABC World News ABC February 13, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
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 nastier and nastier and nastier. >> find out where he gets his money. >> 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.
extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. and a short time ago, president obama expressing his condolences, but also saying he will nominate a successor. we begin with abc's martha raddatz on the justice who helped shape the bench. >> place your left hand on the bible. >> reporter: antonin scalia was appointed to the high court by ronald reagan in 1986, a lifelong paradigm of conservatism. he was famous for his blunt dissents. that earned him a reputation of being combative, though many who knew him personally said he was both charming and funny. the court, liberal justice ruth bader ginsberg. for most of his time on the bench, scalia xemly if ied judicial restraint. but he was capable of puz ming his conservative counterparts at times, ruling to uphold free speech in a texas flag-burning
prohibition on hate speech. contrarily, he worked to limit the right to abortion, and was one apologetic 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 over the 6-3 decision to uphold a key component of the affordable care ability, 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 not only with the constitution, but with the principles upon which our nation were built. scalia, who over the years had become the anchor of the court's conservative majority, was confirmed by the senate 30 years ago, 98-0. and jurmer president george w. bush released a statement about the death of justice scalia, saying
tom? >> martha raddatz for us tonight. martha, thank you. now, 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. and conservatives have lost a titan. 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 against 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.
though win or lose, the force of his prose and his ideas was 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, if you include roberts and thomas and alito, fair to say that scalia was the backbone of that wing? >> reporter: he was, tom, however, 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
he did change the terms of debate in american law, though he didn't always win. >> terry moran for us tonight. terry, thank you. president obama coming before cameras, expressing his condolences, but the president also saying he will move forward to replace him. >> i plan to fulfill my constitutional spot alal 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 are bigger than any one party. they are about our democracy. >> and with that, let's bring in chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. jon what are the chances that his nominee will be confirmed? >> reporter: not good, tom. the senate republicans, remember, they control the senate, it is up to the senate to confirm his nomination, have made it very clear that they
replacing justice scalia should be left up to the next president. it is highly unusual to see a confirmationf a supreme court nominee in the last year of a presidency. and the republicans have no intention of seeing that happen now. we had a very direct statement from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell saying the vacancy should not be filled until we have another president. they will fight that and they can control the senate, what happens in the senate. >> jon, we have a republican and democratic nomination under way. we're going to have an election. can the republicans really block this for the next 11 months? >> reporter: they can. the senate, you know, the way this normally would happen is the president makes a nominee, the senate judiciary committee has hearings, they can go on for days. and then there's a vote on the senate floor. well, the senate republicans control every step of that process after the president makes his nomination. >> all right, jonathan karl for us tonight. jon, thank you. the death of supreme court justice scalia shifting the focus of tonight's gop debate.
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 cheating 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
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 >> i found the lord a long time ago. >> reporter: hi, governor, how are you? his faith isn't part of a >> 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 wia 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? >> a critical debate tonight. all right, mary, thank you. we will have more on the passing of justice scalia coming up later. but we do move on now to the
deadly traffic pileup. look at this. a sudden snow squall in central pennsylvania, causing dozens of cars to pile up on a major interstate. zens of people injured. 40 hospitalized. and 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 choppers 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.
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. all right, eva, thank you. that squall part of a front that is also bringing arctic cold from the midwest to north carolina, all the way to maine. more than 100 million people in its path. take a look. minus 16 on the thermometer in cedar falls, iowa. the few people who ventured out, bundled up like this woman in new york city. here's abc's phillip mena with the dangers tonight. >> 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
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
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 with some important tips tonight. phillip, thank you. overseas tonight to new fingerpointing to the war in syria. russia and the u.s. trading barbs over how that war is being waged, dimming hopes for a cease-fire that had been under discussion. those failures leaving the flood of refugees with little hope. abc's alex marquardt reporting from the syria/turkey border. >> reporter: relentless russian air strikes have reduced towns and villages in northern syria to rubble. it has 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
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 ahad. he told us that those russian air strikes leveled the villages where his family is from. so, his family moved, only to have the house they were staying in 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. but that hope threatened by distrust and ever-deepening divisions. alex marquardt, abc news, on the turkey/syria border.
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long-term is to prove production from our facility in indianapolis to monterey, mexico. >> reporter: that video shot by one of the workers and posted on face the book. many of the voters stunned and angry. >> i'm just trying to support my family. you know? i'm just trying to survive. >> reporter: their positions joining the manufacturing exodus from the u.s. to mexico over the past 20 years. an estimated 1 million jobs moving south of the border. american carrier says the dismissals are not expected to begin until 2017 and will be spread out over three years. >> where are all those jobs that we're going to be able to find 1,400 people that pay them a living wage? >> reporter: a handful of air conditioner dealers are threatening to boycott carrier products. and the local government says it will retrain the displaced workers. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. and when we come back, more on tonight's breaking news, the death of supreme court justice
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more now on tonight's breaking news. supreme court justice antonin scalia, passing away in his slip at a resort in texas. last rites administered this afternoon. flags lowered to half staff outside the supreme court. you see it there. let's go back to abc's jonathan karl. how is this playing out in the republican debate that's just started? >> reporter: well, already, all six remaining republican presidential candidates have said that no, that president obama should not nominate, the senate should not confirm a replacement for justice scalia, that that decision should be left for the next president. and i think you're gouge to see this play out throughout the presidential campaign, both in the primaries and in the general election. republicans now no longer are talking about an abstraction, they are talking about something very specific. the next president not just nominating future supreme court justices, but nominating a replacement to their conservative hero on the court. >> all right, jonathan karl for
let's go back to terry moran in mexico city. terry, you knew justice scalia's presence on the court very well. talk to us tonight about his legacy. >> 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, he 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. hid closest friends on the court, probably ruth bader ginsburg, perhaps the most liberal liberal justice. but really set him apart was just the ferocity of his opinions.
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? >> no doubt an incredible legal mind. and for those that knew him, a larger than life personality. terry, thank you so much. we'll have much more on "gma" and "this week" in the morning. i'm tom llamas. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night.
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