Robert Bentley: Antonin Scalia was “great public servant”

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Gov. Robert Bentley issued a statement after the untimely death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia over the weekend, saying the conservative jurist will be missed.

“Our country lost a great public servant today with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia,” said Bentley, a Republican. “His dedication to the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court for almost 30 years will be forever remembered.”

Scalia, arguably the most conservative of the five-member GOP-nominated majorities that have carried the day at many decisive junctures over the last two decades, was beloved by Americans on the right of the political spectrum for his “originalist” philosophy on jurisprudence.

A practicing Catholic, Scalia was also outspoken on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, hewing to traditional values in public venues and on the bench.

Bentley lauded that legacy in a prepared statement his office released on Valentine’s Day.

“Nominated to the bench by a strong conservative president, Justice Scalia was dedicated to the principles on which our nation was founded,” Bentley said. “I join Alabamians and Americans in praying for Justice Scalia’s family tonight.”

Moreover, the governor hinted at the fact the battle over Scalia’s replacement is likely to be a Congressional fight for the ages, probably unparalleled since the failed confirmation of Judge Robert Bork during the Reagan administration.

“The effort to replace him will be extremely important in the days ahead,” Bentley concluded.

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