Saturday on MSNBC’s breaking news coverage of the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said the death will have a “massive impact” on the forthcoming debate and the GOP presidential race.
Scarborough said, “Obviously, we all are thinking about Justice Scalia and his family and the personal side of this tragedy. But it’s going to be a massive impact on the debate tonight, on the Republican race, and I think you’re going to see a lot of Republicans lining up behind what Mitch McConnell has said, what Ted Cruz has said. In part because, as you know, as well as me, Ted Cruz’s mentor, John Roberts, is just the latest in a long list of justices that many conservatives believe said one thing when they were, before they became justices, and another after they became justices. Antonin Scalia was the exception to that rule. And as you know, you can go back to Earl Warren, which Ike said was the biggest mistake he made in his life, Justice Brennan, liberal stalwarts appointed by Republican justices. Of course, Blackmun, author of Roe v. Wade, appointed by a Republican. And we could go down the list, all the way through Souter. And so conservatives, Republicans, are more sensitive to this issue than anything else. They also understand the right to keep and bear arms, the way they interpret the Second Amendment is, you know, it’s a 5-4 decision. And so there are so many things that rest on who the next justice is going to be.”
He added, “How many other issues can you name that are 5-4 right now? This court has been split 5-4 for such a long time that Justice Kennedy has quietly been one of the most powerful people in this country. You can’t really overstate the significance of this tragedy on Republican politics tonight and throughout the rest of the campaign season.”
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