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Oklahomans react to Justice Scalia's death

Oklahomans reacted Saturday night to the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City: “The loss of Justice Antonin Scalia is a tremendous loss for the Supreme Court and for America. He was a principled constitutionalist that provided an excellent model for how a Supreme Court Justice should evaluate a case and interpret the original intent of the law. He lived a full life of many accomplishments, including success as a lawyer and scholar, as well as a devoted husband and father. 

"No other justice stood stronger for conservative principles and gave a more articulate defense for the Constitution.”  

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa: “My heart is broken learning the news of Justice Scalia’s passing. He was the enduring legacy of the Reagan Administration and the conservative standard for not only the Supreme Court but the American judiciary.

"History will remember Scalia as a stalwart defender of the constitution and a brilliant legal mind. He authored the majority opinion on countless rulings of the court, preserving and protecting our nation’s founding principles. His intellectual honesty, as well as his humor, will be greatly missed. Kay and I extend our prayers and thoughts to his family."

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt: "I am deeply saddened to learn the news of Justice Scalia's passing. Justice Scalia was brilliant, possessed incredible wit and was full of life. I am honored to have had the opportunity to witness his keen analytical mind on the bench and listen to the tremendous amount of wisdom in the questions he would ask.

"But I also was blessed with the opportunity to 'break bread' with him and witness his humor and joy. I will remember those interactions the rest of my life. My heart is grief stricken for the loss of this great American. He will be remembered, without a doubt, as one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the history of our nation."

U.S. Rep. Steve Russell, R-Choctaw: "I am saddened to hear of the passing of Justice Scalia. For nearly 30 years, he served the country with honor, sitting on the highest court in our land, and most importantly was a staunch warrior who defended and upheld our Constitution and the rights of the individual. At this time, let us pray for his family, friends, and all who knew him well." 

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore: “Like countless others across the nation, I am stunned and deeply grieved over the loss of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

"Justice Scalia was not only a decent human being who fought to uphold the rule of law, but his philosophy made him a long and faithful friend to conservatives. My sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones during this unexpected loss.

"It is my belief that the next justice of the Supreme Court should be nominated by the next president of the United States. The American people should have a say in this decision. They will have the opportunity to do that in November by voting for either a conservative or a liberal for president at the polls."

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›