Jeb mourns ‘favorite justice’

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Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush late Saturday mourned the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, calling the conservative jurist his “favorite justice.”

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“Today we lost a great man whose principled service left our nation vastly better off,” the former Florida governor said in a statement. “This afternoon at Mass, Columba and I prayed for Justice Scalia, who was devout in faith and has been brought home to God in heaven. Our prayers are also with his wife, Maureen, his children and his 28 grandchildren.”

Bush said Scalia was a “brilliant defender on the rule of law,” adding that the justice’s “logic and wit were unparalleled, and his decisions were models of clarity and good sense."

“I often said he was my favorite justice, because he took the Constitution, and the responsibility of judges to interpret it correctly, with the utmost seriousness,” he said. “Now it is up to all of us to fight for the principles Justice Scalia espoused and carry forth his legacy.”

Bush and the other GOP presidential candidates will gather in South Carolina Saturday evening for their next debate.

Scalia’s death, during a hunting vacation in Texas, is likely to spark a firestorm over his replacement in the midst of the election cycle.

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