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Oklahoma Tributes, Reaction To The Death Of Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia speaks with staff at the U.S. Mission in Geneva, July 13, 2011.
Eric Bridiers
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United States Mission Geneva Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Justice Antonin Scalia speaks with staff at the U.S. Mission in Geneva, July 13, 2011.

Tributes poured in from Oklahoma's federal lawmakers and state elected officials over the weekend after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. On Monday, Gov. Mary Fallin ordered all American and Oklahoma flags on state property to be flown at half-staff until Scalia is laid to rest.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford called Scalia a principled Constitutionalist and an excellent model for how Justices should evaluate cases and interpret the law's original intent.

“He lived a full life of many accomplishments, including success as a lawyer and scholar, as well as a devoted husband and father,” the state’s junior Republican said in a statement. “No other Justice stood stronger for conservative principles and gave a more articulate defense for the Constitution.”

Lankford didn't say whether or not he agreed with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's statement President Obama should leave the nomination of the next justice to his successor.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole called the late Justice a "long and faithful friend" to conservatives, and did say the next president should be the one to nominate Scalia's replacement.

“The American people should have a say in this decision,” Cole said in a statement. “They will have the opportunity to do that in November by voting for either a conservative or a liberal for president at the polls.”

Congressman Steve Russell described Scalia as a "staunch warrior" who defended and upheld individual rights and the Constitution. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said he was honored to not only watch Scalia on the bench, but also spend time with him and experience his wit and sense of humor.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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