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ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz said on ABC's This Week that he plans to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee made by President Obama to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Cruz described the Supreme Court vacancy left by Scalia as having a "profound impact" on the Republican primary that will change the contours of the presidential race. He argued voters -- not a "lame-duck president" -- should decide who will replace the longtime conservative judge who died Saturday.

"This is a 5-4 court -- the next election needs to be a referendum on the court," Cruz told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "People need to decide."

President Obama said Saturday he planned to nominate a replacement for the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Cruz said he would "absolutely" filibuster before the Senate could vote on the nominee.

"This should be a decision for the people," Cruz said. "Let the election decide. If the Democrats want to replace this nominee, they need to win the election. But I don’t think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties. I don’t think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortions on demand, partial birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification and I don’t think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution."

Cruz used the Second Amendment issue to appeal to South Carolina's veterans and jab at his fiercest rival in the state -- Donald Trump.

"If Donald Trump becomes president, the Second Amendment will be written out of the Constitution because it is abundantly clear that Donald Trump is not a conservative. He will not invest the capital to confirm a conservative, so the result will be the same whether it’s Hillary [Clinton], Bernie [Sanders] or Donald Trump," Cruz said. "The Second Amendment will go away."

Cruz, who clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and argued many cases in front of the Supreme Court as solicitor general of Texas, attempted to contrast his judgment with Trump's.

"Anyone that writes checks to Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid and Jimmy Carter and Hillary Clinton does not care about conservative justices on the court," Cruz said. "Donald Trump himself, you know, the one person he has suggested that would make a good justice is his sister, who is a court of appeals judge appointed by Bill Clinton. She is a hardcore pro-abortion liberal judge and he said she would make a terrific justice."

Trump has said he would not nominate his sister because it would be a conflict of interest, and said he was joking when he mentioned her as a potential nominee.

Cruz also hit at Trump following Saturday's debate in South Carolina, saying it showed the real estate mogul isn't a conservative.

"He defended Planned Parenthood and federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood on the debate stage," Cruz said. "He said he thinks they do terrific things. I don't think Planned Parenthood does terrific things."

The two sparred during the debate with Trump calling Cruz a liar and Cruz saying Trump relies on insults to stop discussions about his record.

Cruz added one more jab at Trump for not disavowing a past remark he made that he would have impeached President George W. Bush over the war in Iraq.

"That is not consistent with the Constitution and those are the views of the fever swamps of the left. That's where Donald comes from is the fever swamps of the left," Cruz said Sunday on This Week.” "He's supporting John Kerry and saying let's impeach George W. Bush. That is not a commander-in-chief fit to keep this country safe."

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ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio doesn't believe the constant attacks between those running for the Republican presidential nomination is helping the party.

“It’s a catch-22,” Rubio said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. "But if you're attacked, I think it's important to respond."

Rubio said responding to those attacks hurt him a week ago during the last debate before the New Hampshire primary. Rubio repeated the same line four times in response to an attack from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, leading to widespread criticism ahead of the primary.

Rubio has since said that he was trying to avoid Republican-on-Republican attacks and instead wanted to refocus the conversation on President Obama.

“I’ve said that before -- I always tried to avoid that engagement,” Rubio said Sunday. "It got me in trouble a week ago."

Despite that goal, Rubio hit Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over Saturday’s debate in South Carolina, claiming he is “saying things that aren’t true habitually” on the campaign trail.

“He hasn't told the truth about my position on Planned Parenthood, on marriage. He didn't tell the truth about his previous stance on immigration,” Rubio said. “So these things have to be clarified and -- and they need to be addressed.”

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ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders hopes President Obama nominates a replacement “as soon as possible” for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in Texas Saturday.

“President Obama, in my view, should make that nomination,” Sanders said on ABC's This Week. “I hope he does it as soon as possible and I hope that the Senate confirms and begins deliberations as soon as possible.”

The unexpected death of the conservative justice sparked a charged political debate in Washington about who should nominate his successor.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said the vacancy should not be filled until a new president is elected.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," he said in a statement Saturday. "This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

“I don't think that Mitch McConnell has it right on this issue,” Sanders told This Week. “The Constitution is pretty clear and that it is the job of the president of the United States to appoint [and] nominate members to the Supreme Court and the Senate confirms.”

The Vermont senator warned the public would not look kindly on “Republican actions to try to thwart” President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination.

“When there is a vacancy, the president makes a nomination and the Senate deliberates and then votes up or down,” Sanders said. "I hope that happens."

Sanders said he had one litmus test for anyone he would potentially nominate to serve on the Supreme Court -- that the new justice would overturn the Citizens United decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled corporations or unions could spend unlimited amounts of money to support or denounce candidates in elections.

"I would never nominate anybody to the Supreme Court who is not prepared to overturn that disastrous decision," he said.

The Democratic presidential candidate acknowledged his political views were very different than Scalia’s, but he applauded him for his years of public service.

“He was clearly a brilliant man, very outspoken, very forceful,” Sanders said.

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ABC News(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- With the Republican presidential field whittled down to just six candidates, the first presidential debate since the New Hampshire primary and the last one before the Palmetto State’s Feb. 20 nominating contest turned into a rollicking attack-fest that left virtually no contender unscathed.

During one of the debate’s feistiest exchanges -- a shout-out between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz -- the moderator, John Dickerson of CBS News, invited the Texas senator to “pick from the buffet” of jabs that had just been leveled.

And the debate, held at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, was exactly that: A smorgasbord of sharp volleys that were as often about policy as they were personal.

Here are seven moments that mattered:

Supreme Court Vacancy: What Would You Do?

The unexpected death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday generated the first question of the debate with the candidates weighing in on what they would do if they were in President Obama's position.

Trump said if he were president he would “certainly want to try and nominate a justice,” but added he hoped the GOP-controlled Senate would be able to block Obama’s pick.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich argued that Obama should let the next president decide on a replacement: "I really wish the president would think about not nominating somebody.”

Sen. Marco Rubio agreed: "It's been over 80 years since a lame duck president has appointed a Supreme Court justice.”

Cruz, called on the U.S. Senate to “stand strong” when President Obama nominates a replacement for Scalia as he said he intends to do.

“We're not gonna give up the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee,” Cruz said.

Jeb vs. Trump Round One: Bush Gets His Exclamation Point

Trump and Jeb Bush have long been rivals in this campaign and in debates they often spar, but tonight Bush earned his exclamation point, taking on the real estate mogul. The two went back and forth for several rounds, but it all began when the former Florida governor jabbed Trump, accusing him of being accommodating to Russia in the fight against ISIS.

“Jeb is so wrong,” Trump said.

As the audience began to boo him and as he did last week at the ABC News debate, Trump took on the crowd, saying, “Just so you understand? That’s Jeb's special interests and lobbyists talking."

“I only tell the truth, lobbyists,” he added. The two went back and forth sparring on the right way to beat ISIS, with Trump saying, “You've got to fight ISIS first. You fight ISIS first.”

Bush interrupted, firing back at Trump: “This comes from a guy who gets his foreign policies from the shows.”

Trump responded by noting his big win in New Hampshire this week, as well as mentioning Bush backer former presidential candidate South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

"Lindsey Graham, who backs him, who had had zero in his polls,” Trump said, digging in.

Jeb vs. Trump Round Two: Family Feud

The fight between the two rivals got even nastier minutes later when Bush declared himself "sick and tired" of Trump's attacks on his family.

“While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe,” Bush said.

Trump fired back: "The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign. Remember that?” His remark elicited boos from the crowd inside the debate hall.

During the same exchange, Bush assailed the billionaire businessman for having “gall to go after my mother.” Trump has mocked Bush for having his 90-year-old mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, campaign for him.

"She should be running," Trump deadpanned.

Jeb vs. Trump Round Three: Let’s Talk About Weakness

But it didn’t end there. When the conversation turned to immigration reform, Trump attempted to deliver yet another body blow to Bush.

“The weakest person on this stage by far on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush,” he said.

The former Florida governor was having none of it.

“You want to talk about weakness?” Bush asked. “It's weak to disparage women. It's weak to disparage Hispanics. It's weak to denigrate the disabled. And it's really weak to call John McCain a loser because he was a P.O.W.”

Things Get Caliente Between Rubio and Cruz

An argument over immigration records between the two senators on stage became so heated that it turned into a fight over who speaks Spanish.

Cruz criticized Rubio’s immigration reform bill he helped write with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer as part of the “Gang of Eight” and argued the Florida senator was for amnesty.

“In addition to that, Marco went on Univision in Spanish and said he would not rescind President Obama's illegal exclusive amnesty on his first day in office,” the Texas senator said.

“First of all, I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish,” Rubio shot back.

Cruz responded in Spanish, challenging Rubio: "My friend, if you want to tell them now, tell them now in Spanish.”

Rubio continued his attack on Cruz.

“Ted Cruz has just been telling lies,” Rubio said. “He lied about Ben Carson in Iowa. He lies about Planned Parenthood, he lies about marriage. He is lying about all sorts of things and now he makes things up.”

The ‘Biggest Liar’

After Rubio called Cruz a liar, Trump upped the ante, calling the Texas senator the “single biggest liar.”

It happened when Cruz accused Trump of supporting policies that “have been very, very liberal.”

“You are the single biggest liar,” Trump said. “You probably are worse than Jeb Bush.”

Cruz went on to say Trump would appoint liberals to the Supreme Court, and this: “Donald, adults learn not to interrupt each other.”

Trump Says He Will Cut Back on the Profanity

Trump is known for telling it like it is on the campaign trail, but also for letting loose in the profanity department. Tonight, he said he would stop.

When asked if he would be willing to cut out the bad language, Trump answered that on “occasion, in order to sort of really highlight something, I'll use a profanity.”

But he promised to cut back.

“I have said I will not do it at all, because if I say a word that's a little bit off color, a little bit, it ends up being a headline,” Trump said. “I will not do it again. I was a very good student at a great school. By the way, not using profanity is very easy.”

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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(EL PASO, Texas) -- The body of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has arrived at a Texas funeral home one day after he died while on a hunting trip.

Chris Lujan of Sunset Funeral Homes in El Paso said the body of the late justice arrived early Sunday. Scalia had been staying at the Cibolo Creek Ranch in Presidio County, Texas, during a quail hunting trip, said federal officials.

Scalia, a conservative appointed to the high court by former President Ronald Reagan, was 79. The federal officials said Scalia died from natural causes.

Scalia was the longest-serving justice on the current bench of the Supreme Court, having taken his seat on Sept. 26, 1986.

Despite calls from conservatives for his seat to not be filled until a new president was elected, President Obama said Saturday he intends to nominate a replacement before his term ends.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.) -- President Obama has announced his intent nominate a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was found dead in Texas on Saturday.

"These are responsibilities that I take seriously as should anyone," Obama said of his constitutional power to nominate in the case of a vacancy. "They are bigger than any one party."

The move sets up a major political battle in the president's final year in office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Saturday that Scalia's seat should not be filled until the American people elect a new president.

In a statement released this evening, McConnell said: "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President."

Senate Democrats were just as adamant that Obama should nominate a new justice, and said they will attempt to keep Republicans from dragging out the confirmation process.

"It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. "Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate's most essential constitutional responsibilities."

Without Scalia, the court is evenly divided between four conservative and four liberal justices, which could make the leaning of Scalia's replacement a key to court decisions.

The president didn’t directly address McConnell’s statement, saying the day should be used to remember Scalia, a "larger than life" figure who "dedicated his life to the cornerstone of our democracy -- the rule of law."

Following his statement, the president issued a proclamation ordering flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Scalia.

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ABC News(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- The latest Republican debate debate kicked off in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday night.

In the debate hosted by CBS and the Wall Street Journal the GOP hopefuls opened the night honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Here are the best lines from the fiery debate:

ON NOMINATING JUSTICE SCALIA'S REPLACEMENT

DONALD TRUMP: "If I were president now I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice."

"I think he is going to do it, whether I'm OK with it or not. I think it's up to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it," Trump continued. "It's called delay, delay, delay."

JOHN KASICH: "I would like the president to just for once here put the country first."

ON CARSON’S EXPERIENCE

BEN CARSON: “Thank you for including me in the debate. Two questions already. This is great.”

MARCO RUBIO: “We need to put people on the bench that understand the Constitution is not a living and breathing document. It is to be interpreted as originally meant.”

Rubio added, “I do not believe the president should appoint someone.”

ON VLADIMIR PUTIN

DONALD TRUMP: “Call me a genius. I like him so far.”

“Jeb is so wrong. Just so you understand, you know what that is? That's Jeb's special interests and lobbyists talking,” Trump fired at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “Look, let me just tell you something. Jeb is so wrong, wrong. You've got to fight ISIS first. You fight ISIS first.”

Trump continued, “Lindsey Graham, who backs him. Lindsey graham, who had zero in his polls.”

Last month, South Carolina senator and former presidential hopeful, Lindsey Graham endorsed Jeb Bush.

Bush hit Trump back saying: “This comes from a guy who gets his foreign policies from the shows. This is a guy who thinks that Hillary Clinton was a great negotiator in Iran. We're living in dangerous times. This is a man who insults his way to the nomination.”

ON GEORGE W. BUSH

JEB BUSH: “I'm sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he's had.”

He continued, “I'm sick and tired of him going after my family. My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind. While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. And I'm proud of what he did.”

To which Trump responded, “The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign. Remember that.” He continued, “that's not keeping us safe.”

“This is just nuts,” Kasich interjected.

“I just want to say, at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank god all the time it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11, and not Al Gore,” Rubio added.

Trump hit back, “How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.”

"The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him," Rubio argued.

ON THEIR TAX PLAN

MARCO RUBIO: “I'm going to have a tax plan that is pro-family because the family is the most important institution in society. You cannot have a strong country without a strong family.”

ON IMMIGRATION

DONALD TRUMP: “I want everybody taken care of, but we have to take care of our people in this country.”

TED CRUZ: “Marco right now supports citizenship for 12 million people here illegally. I oppose citizenship.”

“Marco went on Univision in Spanish and said he would not rescind president Obama's illegal exclusive amnesty,” Cruz added.

“First of all, I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish,” Rubio quipped.

Cruz responded in Spanish, saying, "Vato, si quieres dicelo ahora mismo, dicelo ahora en Español si quieres.”

Translation: “Dude/Man if you want to tell them now, tell them now in Spanish, if you want.”

JEB BUSH: “The great majority of people that come to this country come because they have no other choice. They want to come to provide for their families.”

Trump argued immigration didn’t become a topic of discussion until he announced his candidacy and went on to say, “The weakest person on this stage by far on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush.”

“But if you want to talk about weakness, you want to talk about weakness, it's weak to disparage women. It's weak to disparage Hispanics,” Bush argued.

ON TED CRUZ

DONALD TRUMP: “You are the single biggest liar. You probably are worse than Jeb Bush."

ON RONALD REAGAN

JEB BUSH: “He didn't tear down people like Donald Trump does. He tore down the Berlin Wall. Great guy.”

ON BEING THE DEMOCRATS' 'FAVORITE' REPUBLICAN

JOHN KASICH: “I love these blue-collar Democrats because they're going to vote for us come next fall, promise you that.”

ON DONALD TRUMP BEING WRONG

“My wife tells me I'm wrong all the time,” Trump joked.

ON PROFANITY

DONALD TRUMP: "If I say a word that's a little bit off color, a little bit, it ends up being a headline. I will not do it again."

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Top Senate Republicans said the Senate should not confirm President Obama's nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, setting off a charged political battle in Washington amidst the 2016 presidential race.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President," Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a statement Saturday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, seconded McConnell's thinly-veiled threat to block President Obama's choice to replace the conservative justice, who died of natural causes Saturday in West Texas.

"Given the huge divide in the country, and the fact that this President, above all others, has made no bones about his goal to use the courts to circumvent Congress and push through his own agenda, it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice," Grassley said in a statement.

An aide to Grassley did not say whether the Iowa senator would schedule committee hearings for President Obama's eventual nominee.

Democrats bristled at the suggestion that Republicans would keep President Obama from filling the vacancy on the nation's highest court.

"The Supreme Court of the United States is too important to our democracy for it to be understaffed for partisan reasons. It is only February. The President and the Senate should get to work without delay to nominate, consider and confirm the next justice to serve on the Supreme Court," said Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

President Obama said Saturday he intends to put forward a replacement for Scalia.

"These are responsibilities that I take seriously as should anyone," President Obama said of his constitutional power to nominate in the case of a vacancy. "They are bigger than any one party."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said in South Carolina that the president must "find consensus" in a nominee in order to have Scalia's seat filled before he leaves office, and criticized Democrats for changing Senate rules to prevent filibusters of executive office and federal judicial nominees.

"They’re not going to get ... an appointment to the Supreme Court unless they find consensus. They better find it," Graham said.

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ABC News(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- The death of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia at the age of 79 on Saturday prompted a moment of silence and the very first question at the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina.

Donald Trump was asked, if he were president, whether it would be an “abdication” of responsibility not to nominate a replacement Supreme Court justice with nearly a year left in his term -- the exact situation President Obama faces now.

“If I were president now, I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice,” Trump said. “And I'm sure that, frankly, I'm absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it.”

But Trump added that he hoped the GOP-controlled Senate would be able to delay Obama’s attempt to replace Scalia.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich argued that Obama should not move forward and instead let the next president decide who should replace Scalia.

“The country is so divided right now, and now we're going to see another partisan fight taking place,” Kasich said. “I really wish the president would think about not nominating somebody.”

However, if Obama were to nominate someone, Kasich said he should “pick somebody that is going to have unanimous approval and such widespread approval across the country that this could happen without a lot of recrimination.”

Sen. Marco Rubio said President Obama should not appoint a replacement.

“And it’s not unprecedented,” he said. “In fact It's been over 80 years since a lame duck president has appointed a Supreme Court justice.”

Carson was asked by moderator John Dickerson of CBS News: “What does the constitution say about whose duty it is here to act in this kind of a situation?”

“The constitution actually doesn't address that particular situation,” Carson answered.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was asked whether, if elected, he would have a “litmus test” for whom to nominate to the high court.

“Not on specific issues,” Bush said, adding: “The simple fact is the next president needs to appoint someone with a proven conservative record, similar to Justice Scalia.”

Sen. Ted Cruz called on the U.S. Senate to “stand strong” when President Obama nominates a replacement for Scalia as the president said Saturday he intends to do.

“We're not gonna give up the U.S. Supreme court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee,” Cruz said.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Justice Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the current 9-member Supreme Court, died Saturday at age 79.

Here are five things to know about Justice Scalia.

When Was He Appointed to the Supreme Court?

Scalia was nominated to the court by President Reagan and took his seat on Sept. 26, 1986.

What Was Scalia Known for in His Legal Interpretation of the US Constitution?

As a member of the Supreme Court's conservative wing, Scalia was known for his "textualist" position regarding the U.S. Constitution -- that is, sticking close to the literal wording of the founding fathers in interpreting its meaning.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was a law clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1996, noted Saturday the impact Scalia had on the judiciary.

"As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism," Cruz said in a statement on Facebook. "And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights."

What Were His Opinions of Some of the Most Controversial Legal Decisions in Recent History?

When it came to the topic of abortion, Scalia argued that there is no constitutional right to abortion. In the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Scalia wrote in his dissenting opinion: "The States may, if they wish, permit abortion on demand, but the Constitution does not require them to do so. The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting."

In the landmark Supreme Court decision in June 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, Scalia blasted the majority opinion, calling it a "judicial Putsch" and a "threat to American democracy."

What Were Scalia's Appointments Before the Supreme Court?

Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Scalia was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982. He also served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1974 to 1977, Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972 to 1974 and General Counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy from 1971 to 1972.

Scalia's Family Life

Scalia is survived by his wife, Maureen, whom he married in 1960, five sons and four girls -- Ann Forrest, Eugene, John Francis, Catherine Elisabeth, Mary Clare, Paul David, Matthew, Christopher James and Margaret Jane.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has been informed of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and has offered his condolences to the Scalia family, White House officials said Saturday.

President Obama was in the middle of a golf round in La Quinta, California, when news of Scalia's death broke.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz also said to expect an additional reaction from the president on Sunday.

Scalia's passing could have massive political implications in an election year, with any nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama required to be confirmed by the Senate.

Former President George W. Bush also reacted to the news in a statement Saturday, sending his condolences to Scalia's wife Maureen, their nine children and the rest of Scalia's family.

"He was a towering figure and important judge on our Nation's highest court," Bush said in his statement. "He brought intellect, good judgment, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country."

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SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the age of 79 is sure to send shockwaves through the 2016 presidential race, beginning with tonight's Republican debate in South Carolina.

Here’s a look at how the candidates are responding to Scalia’s passing:

Ted Cruz

The Texas senator called Scalia “one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history.”

"As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights. All liberty-loving Americans should be in mourning.”

John Kasich

The Ohio governor called Scalia’s death “a serious loss to our nation and the Court.”

“He was an essential, principled force for conservative thought and is a model for others to follow. His dedication to the Constitution and love for and service to our country will be deeply missed."

Donald Trump

Trump offered his "sincerest condolences to the Scalia family."

"Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time. His career was defined by his reverence for the Constitution and his legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms. He was a Justice who did not believe in legislating from the bench and he is a person whom I held in the highest regard and will always greatly respect his intelligence and conviction to uphold the Constitution of our country."

Marco Rubio

The Florida senator called Scalia "one of the most consequential Americans in our history and a brilliant legal mind who served with only one objective: to interpret and defend the Constitution as written."

"One of the greatest honors in my life was to attend oral arguments during Town of Greece v. Galloway and see Justice Scalia eloquently defend religious freedom. I will hold that memory forever. The next president must nominate a justice who will continue Justice Scalia's unwavering belief in the founding principles that we hold dear."

Bernie Sanders

The Democratic presidential candidate issued this statement: "While I differed with Justice Scalia’s views and jurisprudence, he was a brilliant, colorful and outspoken member of the Supreme Court. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his colleagues on the court who mourn his passing."

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iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department Saturday made publicly available online 551 documents comprising 1,012 pages from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email account.

Combined with the department’s previous document releases – which totaled 44,818 pages – the total count of Clinton documents released is now 45,830 pages.

Earlier this week a federal judge ordered the State Department speed up production of Clinton's emails, a process that was supposed to be completed by the end of January. The State Department has said the review is burdensome and time consuming.

So far 22 of her emails had to be upgraded to "Top Secret" and withheld from public release. Clinton's campaign has been dogged by accusations she put national security information at risk, but her campaign says certain elements of the State Department and Intelligence Community are conspiring with Republicans in Congress to smear her. She maintains that none of the information she handled at the time it was sent was marked as classified.

The State Department says it is conducting an investigation to determine if any of those "Top Secret" emails should have been marked classified at the time they were sent.

Of the emails released Saturday, 84 had to be upgraded -- most of them to the low "Confidential" level of classified material. Three of them, however, had to be marked "Secret."

One email featured in today's release shows that in 2012 the Washington Director of Human Rights Watch, a major human rights organization, was recommending to Clinton that the U.S. establish a no-fly zone over northern Syria.

Tom Malinowski, the current assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said in the email at the time that a team on the ground, which was originally skeptical of military intervention, had recommended the move in order to provide assistance to moderate rebels fighting the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad.

Four years later those rebel forces are now being bombed by Russia and Assad and risk losing their stronghold in the north.

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ABC News(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich has said he does not wear his faith on his sleeve, but as his campaign shifted to South Carolina this week, he has incorporated religion into his pitch in a deeply personal way that was absent in less-religious New Hampshire.

Kasich has honed his message in a state where about two-thirds of Republican voters are evangelicals, bringing the deeply personal story about how he found his faith to the forefront.

"I don't go out and try to win a vote by using God,” Kasich told reporters in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Feb. 3. "I think that cheapens God. But people know I'm sort of faith—I mean, I don’t think they know that or not. But I think they pick it up."

But in recent days, he has made his faith a central part of his message in South Carolina, which holds its GOP primary on Feb. 20, including taping a television advertisement in which he tells viewers about the deeply personal story of his parents’ death at the hands of a drunken driver in 1987. The tragedy, according to Kasich, reinvigorated his faith.

"My parents were killed by a drunk driver, but my parents did not die in vain," he says in the advertisement, which was slated to start airing Friday in South Carolina. "I was transformed. I discovered my purpose by discovering the Lord. I believe the Lord put us on this earth to use the gifts that we've been given to bring about a healing. And that's the motivation for me."

Kasich, who worships at an Anglican church and regularly attends a Bible study group, has always made his spirituality central to his pitch to voters, telling attendees of his over-100 town hall-style meetings in New Hampshire that it is important for communities to grow stronger and speaking of his faith in a more general sense. He often lauded the United States’ Judeo-Christian background.

In South Carolina, he has told hundreds of voters about his parents’ deaths, which he wrote about in a 2010 book, but never made it a staple of the stump speech he delivered frequently in New Hampshire.

At a campaign stop at a barbecue restaurant in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Kasich asked “those that are prayers” to not pray that he wins but that "I’ll accept whatever’s meant to be."

He laughingly invoked a Biblical story when he heard a man was named Jeremiah, and, in recounting the story of his parents' death, he cited a Bible passage and proclaimed that "the power of the Lord" was "the glue that keeps us together."

"I went through it," he said of his past tragedy. "The Lord gave me the grace to fully recover and put me in a position to be aware of other people’s problems."

In Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, Kasich spoke of a "message" he received calling him to run for governor of Ohio in 2010. He mentioned the same "message" at a sentimental town hall meeting the night before he came in second in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

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iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- He’s previously said Selective Service should be opened up to women, but on Friday Marco Rubio said he was against drafting women into combat.

“I do not support drafting women and forcing them to be combat soldiers. I don’t support that. I never have and I don’t now,’ Rubio said at the Faith and Family Forum in Greenville, South Carolina.

Rubio’s words had social media abuzz -- many accusing him of flip-flopping -- given the response he gave to a question on Selective Service at the ABC News debate just a week ago.

“I do believe that Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted,” he told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The campaign maintained Rubio's words on Friday did not constitute a flip-flop, as Selective Service and a draft are different.

“In the debate, he said Selective Service should be opened to women. Today [Friday], he said women shouldn't be drafted into combat roles,” said Rubio spokesperson Brooke Sammon.

Selective Service identifies people who would be eligible to be drafted in the case of a national emergency (currently, only men are required to register). A draft requires people to serve.

At the debate, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush agreed with Rubio that women should sign up for Selective Service. Ted Cruz later pounced, calling it “immoral” to draft women into combat.

“The idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think, is wrong,” he said.

Cruz continued: “It was striking that three different people on that [debate] stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military. And I have to admit as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was 'Are you guys nuts?'"

“Contrary to Cruz's misleading statements, Marco's obviously never said we should draft people into combat roles,” said Rubio spokesman Alex Conant.

On Thursday, Rubio’s Senate office confirmed he would co-sponsor a Mike Lee bill with Cruz that would ensure that only Congress would have the authority to reconsider whether women should ever be drafted.

Rubio also said at the Faith and Family Forum that he doesn't think "we'll ever have a draft again," as modern warfare makes the draft unnecessary.

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