‘All Liberty-loving Americans Should Be in Mourning’: Trump, Cruz and More React to Death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia

As more information comes in on the death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, along with other politicians, are giving their condolences on social media.

The conservative Scalia, who has held his position since his appointment in 1986 by former President Ronald Reagan, passed away Saturday at age 79, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

“On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away,” Roberts said. “He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”

Politicians are weighing in on social media, with Cruz expressing his sadness, and calling for a replacement to wait until the next president comes into office in 2017.

President Obama also reacted to Scalia’s passing through his Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, who said the Obama family extend “their deepest condolences” to Justice Scalia’s family.

Former President George W. Bush also expressed his condolences in a statement obtained by PEOPLE:

“Laura and I mourn the death of a brilliant jurist and important American, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a towering figure and important judge on our Nation’s highest court. He brought intellect, good judgment, and wit to the bench, and he will be missed by his colleagues and our country. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his wife, Maureen, their nine children, and the entire Scalia family.”

Here’s a roundup of additional reactions.

Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history – Justice Antonin Scalia. A champion of our…

Posted by Ted Cruz on Saturday, 13 February 2016

Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 13, 2016

The totally unexpected loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a massive setback for the Conservative movement and our COUNTRY!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2016

God bless Anthony Scalia, finest Sup Ct Justice RIP

— Michele Bachmann (@MicheleBachmann) February 13, 2016

Obama must appoint a constitutional originalist to replace Justice Scalia, nothing else will do.

— Michele Bachmann (@MicheleBachmann) February 13, 2016

Justice Scalia was an American hero, one of the greatest Supreme Ct Justices in history. Our thoughts and prayers are with his dear family.

— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) February 13, 2016

Justice Scalia was a defender of the constitution, an important conservative voice in the court. He will be missed. https://t.co/cOB3juvx7A

— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 13, 2016

A great light has gone out. Justice Scalia was a great protector of freedom & liberty. He will be missed.

— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) February 13, 2016

Scalia is survived by his wife, Maureen McCarthy Scalia, their nine children and his 36 grandchildren.

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