It Only Took Minutes for Ted Cruz to Politicize Antonin Scalia's Death


Just minutes after news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia emerged on Saturday afternoon, presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) weighed in with a statement of mourning — and then a tweet that was overtly politicized.

While the death of a Supreme Court justice is always inherently political — their disappearance shifts the ideological balance of the bench — the speed with which the Republican senator decided to make the death a political battleground was striking.

Cruz's tweet is a battle cry. He's immediately trying to push the idea that it's for the next president, whom he hopes will be a Republican, to successfully replace Scalia's seat. The subtext is that Republicans will do everything in their power to obstruct a nomination from President Barack Obama during the remainder of his time in office to increase the odds that the future justice is a conservative.

That sentiment isn't Cruz's alone. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio issued a statement that said, "The next president must nominate a justice who will continue Justice Scalia's unwavering belief in the founding principles that we hold dear." Also, a spokesman for Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) of the Judiciary Committee also decided to draw a very bold line in the sand regarding any upcoming justice nominations from Obama:

The world learned of the loss of Scalia just moments ago, but already many are positioning themselves to gain what they can from it.