tv ABC World News ABC February 13, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
supreme court justice antonin scalia has died. the longest-serving justice on the nation's high court, a towering conservative figure known for his blistering interpretation of the constitution. the court and the conservative movement suffering a huge loss. team coverage tonight. and good evening. thank you for joining us on this saturday. i'm tom llamas. and we do begin with that breaking news. supreme court justice antonin scalia has died. justice scalia was the longest-serving justice on the high court. appointed by president ronald reagan back in 1986. scalia passed away on a visit to texas, and abc's chief justice correspondent pierre thomas joins us with what we know at this hour. pierre? >> reporter: tom, law enforcement sources tell me that justice scalia died earlier today in texas, apparent of natural causes. u.s. marshals are at the scene, and there is no evidence of foul play.
washington and news of his death has spread quickly. we're told president obama has been informed, as has senior justice department officials. fair to say that official washington tonight is stunned. tom? >> that is right. pierre, thank you so much. the sudden death of justice scalia, a huge loss for the court and the conservative moment. chief justice john roberts calling him, kwoement, an extraordinary individual and admired and treasured by his colleagues. abc's martha raddatz on the justice who helped shape the bench. >> reporter: justice scalia, the longest-serving justice on the court, apparently died from natural causes. the 79-year-old justice was staying at a ranch in west texas on a quail hunting trip with friend friends. when he failed to report for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch checked his room and found scalia had passed away. >> place your left hand on the bible. >> reporter: antonin scalia was
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. one of his closest friends on the court, liberal justice ruth bader ginsburg. just last year, scalia head headlines, voicing his dissent of the 6-3 decision to uphold a key component of the affordable care act, or obamacare, calling it, interpretive jigry pokery, in which words no longer have meaning. 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. >> martha raddatz for us tonight. martha, thank you. let's go straight to senior white house correspondent jonathan karl. jonathan, this news is so fresh, but now there is a vacancy in the supreme court.
conservative icon of the supreme court. scalia was really the hero to conservatives on the court. with that vacancy, the question is, will a republican-controlled senate allow president obama to replace scalia and we have an answer to that, at least from the republican leader of the senate, mitch mcconnell, is already out with a statement, saying that the american people should speak in the next election, that the next president should be the one that names the replacement to justice scalia, so, we'll see what happens. i expect we'll hear from the president tonight, and we'll see if he intends to go forward with a nomination. but i can tell you, it will be a very, very tough battle ahead with a republican-controlled senate. it would be one thing if he was replacing one of the liberals on the court. but you're talking about replacing the conservative cornerstone of the supreme court. >> now, jon, you know, you've been in court, in the supreme court for some of the oral arguments with justice scalia. what was your takeaway, sitting to close to him and what do you think his legacy is tonight?
that could inspire fear into the hearts of opposing council, coming before the supreme court, with rapid firequestions. he could be really quite funny. i've been in the court, i was in the court for the gay marriage decision, for the obamacare decisions, both of those decisions went against scalia. he was in the dissent in both cases. but as he asked those questions, as he makes his case, he could also say something quite funny that the whole court would erupt in laughter. really a unique figure in the court. i imagine that students of constitutional law will be reading and quoting and studying his decisions and his dissents for a long time. >> jon, earlier, we were reporting with dan abrams on the phone and we were talking about what happens next with the supreme court, now that there is a vacancy on the court. will they essentially hit the pause button in making any decisions until the election year?
>> reporter: you have heard nothing on that so far. certainly, the court has gone forward and had decisions with vacancies, so, i don't imagine there would be a total pause button in any way, but no word yet at all from the court, except confirming, of course, that he has died. >> jonathan karl for us tonight. jon, thank you so much. now, let's get over to weather. we want to talk about that extreme weather that is now moving in. affecting 100 million people across the east coast. extreme weather and a deadly traffic pileup. a sudden snow squall in central pennsylvania, causing dozens of cars to pile up on a major entertainment. 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
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 offguard. >> it just sounded like two bombs went off. out. and trucks and cars all smashed, trailers, in between tractor and it was just total >> 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? >> an absolute mangled mess behind you. eva, thank you. that squall part of a front that
from the midwest to north carolina to maine. take a look. my nut 16 on the thermometer in cedar falls, iowa. the few people that ventured out, bundled up like this woman here in new york city. here's abc's fill letphillip mena with the dangers. >> 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 that 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
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 warm 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 so much. let's turn to politics now. the death of supreme court justice scalia putting a somber cast on tonight's republican presidential debate in south carolina. but the battle on that stage
carolina 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 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.
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. 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 conservative supporters. tom? >> mary, thank you. still ahead tonight, you'll see and hear the moment 1,400 workers learn their jobs are moving to mexico. stay with us.
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back now with the announcement rocking workers in the midwest. it happened at a well-known american brand. carrier air conditioners. the bombshell announcement from the boss, setting off a chorus of boos and vulgar language. all caught on tape. something presidential candidates have been railing about for months. workers jobs heading south of the border. here's abc's ron claiborne. >> i want to be clear. this is strictly a business decision. >> reporter: for the factory workers at this air conditioning plant in indiana, the announcement exploded like a bombshell. as a manager tells them, 1,400 jobs, their jobs, will be lost to mexico. >> it became clear that the best way to stay competitive and protect the business for long long-term is to prove production from our facility in indianapolis to monterey, mexico. >> reporter: that video shot
posted on facebook. 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 job ss going to find 1,400 people that pay them a living wage? >> reporter: a handful of air conditioner dealers are threatening to boycot 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 scalia.
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more now on tonight's breaking news. supreme court justice scalia, passing away in his sleep at a resort in texas. last rights administered this afternoon and flags lowered to half staff outside the supreme court. let's go back to abc's jonathan karl on what happens next to america's highest court. jon? >> reporter: well, tom, we have a vacancy on the court, and it's the supreme court's conservative icon, its conservative ball lastast. the logical next step would be to see the president appoint a nominee. we have heard from the republican leadership in the senate, as far as the republicans are concerned, it should be up to the next president to nominate scalia's president, and with the republicans in charge, it is hard to imagine how you could have a confirmation in the final year of president obama's
>> now, jon, in the current state of politics, if they actually wait until the next election, if that does happen, and there's a republican administration in the white house, do you see someone as conservative as justice scalia getting approved by the way politics is run right now in washington? >> reporter: well, it's interesting to note that scalia was actually confirmed 98-0, i mean, even joe biden, who was in the senate at the time, voted for him. ted kennedy voted for him. obviously, it was a very different time. and scalia was not -- not as much was known about him as we've seen in his tenure in the court. you can imagine that it is hard to get anybody through the senate, regardless of who is in control. the pattern we have seen with supreme court justices, you need nominee, you have to have as minimal a paper trail as you can possibly have, because it will
president, no mat whole is charge in the senate. >> all right, jonathan karl, thank you so much for your reporting. let's bring in abc's terry moran. he joins us now from mexico city. and terry, you knew justice scalia's presence on the court very well. talk to us about his legacy. >> reporter: well, i started covering the court about when he came on the court. that's how long ago it was. and it's impossible to overstate how justice antonin scalia charged american law. how people think about it, talk about it, with that single idea that he had, that fixed idea of what he called textualism. that the constitution means what it meant when the founders wrote it and ratified it. the laws means, what congress meant by them when they voted on them and approved them. love him or hate him, he's not a guy that inspired a lot of middle of the road feelings, that is now in the bloodstream of american law. >> we could argue all night about his lasting impact on this country, terry, but in modern
achievements was his role in gore v bush in 2000. >> reporter: he was completely unapologetic proud of what is really one of the most controversial decisions, and for those that didn't like it, one of the worst decisions in supreme court history. he says that it was a clear-cut case. florida was out of control with the way they were counting those ballots. he says, floridians equal protection rights were being violated. he welcomed people challenging that. that was the kind of guy he was. he liked a good argument. but he was always about that for the most part, for all of his scathing brilliance, he was a very warm presence, a funny man, a man with a gift for friendship on that court. a man about town in washington, d.c., as well. he dominated the court through the force of his intellect, but also, through the force of his personality. and it is impossible to see how the conservatives come up with someone who is as dominant, that
>> terry moran joining us from mexico city tonight where he is covering pope francis' trip, but of course, pinch hitting because this is his beat. we thank you for your reporting and your insight tonight, terry. we'll have much more on the passing on justice scalia on "gma" and "this week" in the morning. i'm tom llamas. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night. thank you so much for watching.
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