Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Monday, everybody!

Joining the show today are Mike Barnicle, Jon Meacham, Katty Kay, Sam Stein, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Frank Bruni, Ari Melber, Joan Biskupic, Jonathan Turley, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Mary Kissel, Fmr. Gov. Jeb Bush, Bianna Golodryga, Roger Bennett, Ed Whelan, Jon Ralston, Rod Nordland, and the last boat has just returned to the harbor in Taji, Japan. Blue Cove day! 2016-15-2 10:05am‪#‎tweet4dolphins‬ ‪#‎dolphinproject‬
FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 26, 1986 file photo, retiring Chief Justice Warren Burger, right, administers an oath to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, as
The big news is about Antonin Scalia which was shocking to me on Saturday. Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79.

Scalia was found dead Saturday morning at private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas, after he'd gone to his room the night before and did not appear for breakfast, said Donna Sellers, speaking for the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington. The cause of death was not immediately known. A gray hearse was seen at the entrance to the Cibolo Creek Ranch, near Shafter, on Saturday accompanied by an SUV.

President Barack Obama made clear Saturday night he would nominate a successor to Scalia, despite calls from Republicans to leave that choice — and the certain political struggle over it — to the next president. He promised to do so "in due time" while paying tribute to Scalia as "one of the towering legal figures of our time."

Scalia's death most immediately means that that the justices could be split 4-4 in cases going to the heart of the some of the most divisive issues in the nation — over abortion, affirmative action, immigration policy and more.

Scalia was part of a 5-4 conservative majority — with one of the five, Anthony Kennedy, sometimes voting with liberals on the court. In a tie vote, the lower court opinion prevails.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, said the nomination should fall to the next president.

Democrats were outraged at that idea, with Sen. Harry Reid, the chamber's top Democrat, saying it would be "unprecedented in recent history" for the court to have a vacancy for a year.

Leaders in both parties were likely to use the high court vacancy to implore voters to nominate candidates with the best chance of winning in the November general election.

Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right after his 1986 selection by President Ronald Reagan. He also advocated tirelessly in favor of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers.

Scalia's impact on the court was muted by his seeming disregard for moderating his views to help build consensus, although he was held in deep affection by his ideological opposites Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Scalia and Ginsburg shared a love of opera. He persuaded Kagan to join him on hunting trips.

His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights drew heavily on the history of the Second Amendment and was his crowning moment on the bench.

He could be a strong supporter of privacy in cases involving police searches and defendants' rights. Indeed, Scalia often said he should be the "poster child" for the criminal defense bar.

But he also voted consistently to let states outlaw abortions, to allow a closer relationship between government and religion, to permit executions and to limit lawsuits.

He was in the court's majority in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, which effectively decided the presidential election for Republican George W. Bush. "Get over it," Scalia would famously say at speaking engagements in the ensuing years whenever the topic arose.

Bush later named one of Scalia's sons, Eugene, to an administration job, but the Senate refused to confirm him. Eugene Scalia served as the Labor Department solicitor temporarily in a recess appointment.

A smoker of cigarettes and pipes, Scalia enjoyed baseball, poker, hunting and the piano. He was an enthusiastic singer at court Christmas parties and other musical gatherings, and once appeared on stage with Ginsburg as a Washington Opera extra.

Ginsburg once said that Scalia was "an absolutely charming man, and he can make even the most sober judge laugh." She said that she urged her friend to tone down his dissenting opinions "because he'll be more effective if he is not so polemical. I'm not always successful."

He could be unsparing even with his allies. In 2007, Scalia sided with Chief Justice John Roberts in a decision that gave corporations and labor unions wide latitude to air political ads close to elections. Yet Scalia was upset that the new chief justice's opinion did not explicitly overturn an earlier decision. "This faux judicial restraint is judicial obfuscation," Scalia said.

Quick-witted and loquacious, Scalia was among the most persistent, frequent and quotable interrogators of the lawyers who appeared before the court.

During Scalia's first argument session as a court member, Justice Lewis F. Powell leaned over and asked a colleague, "Do you think he knows that the rest of us are here?"

Scalia's writing seemed irrepressible and entertaining much of the time. But it also could be confrontational. It was a mocking Scalia who in 1993 criticized a decades-old test used by the court to decide whether laws or government policies violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state.

"Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, (the test) stalks our ... jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys," he wrote.

Scalia showed a deep commitment to originalism, which he later began calling textualism. Judges had a duty to give the same meaning to the Constitution and laws as they had when they were written. Otherwise, he said disparagingly, judges could decide that "the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean."

A challenge to a Washington, D.C., gun ban gave Scalia the opportunity to display his devotion to textualism. In a 5-4 decision that split the court's conservatives and liberals, Scalia wrote that an examination of English and colonial history made it exceedingly clear that the Second Amendment protected Americans' right to have guns, at the very least in their homes and for self-defense. The dissenters, also claiming fidelity to history, said the amendment was meant to ensure that states could raise militias to confront a too-powerful federal government if necessary.

But Scalia rejected that view. "Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct," Scalia wrote.

His dissents in cases involving gay rights could be as biting as they were prescient. "By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition," Scalia wrote in dissent in 2013 when the court struck down part of a federal anti-gay marriage law. Six months later, a federal judge in Utah cited Scalia's dissent in his opinion striking down that state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Scalia was passionate about the death penalty. He wrote for the court when in 1989 it allowed states to use capital punishment for killers who were 16 or 17 when they committed their crimes. He was on the losing side in 2005 when the court changed course and declared it unconstitutional for states to execute killers that young.

"The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation's moral standards — and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures," Scalia wrote in a scathing dissent.

In 2002, he dissented from the court's decision to outlaw executing the mentally disabled. That same year, Scalia surprised some people with a public declaration of independence from his Roman Catholic church on the death penalty. He said judges who follow the philosophy that capital punishment is morally wrong should resign.

Scalia also supported free speech rights, but complained too. "I do not like scruffy people who burn the American flag," he said in 2002, but "regrettably, the First Amendment gives them the right to do that."

A longtime law professor before becoming a judge, Scalia frequently spoke at law schools and to other groups. Later in his tenure, he also spoke at length in on-the-record interviews, often to promote a book.

He betrayed no uncertainty about some of the most contentious legal issues of the day. The framers of the Constitution didn't think capital punishment was unconstitutional and neither did he.

"The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state," Scalia said during a talk that preceded a book signing at the American Enterprise Institute in 2012.

The only child of an Italian immigrant father who was a professor of Romance languages and a mother who taught elementary school, Scalia graduated first in his class at Georgetown University and won high honors at the Harvard University Law School.

He worked at a large Cleveland law firm for six years before joining the faculty of the University of Virginia's law school. He left that job to work in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

From 1977 to 1982, Scalia taught law at the University of Chicago.

He then was appointed by Reagan to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Scalia and his wife, Maureen, had nine children.

Supreme Court justices: Senate Republicans vow to Bork Obama nominee to replace Scalia
The Supreme Court has lost one of its most reliable conservative justices, Antonin Scalia, but Republican vows to deny President Barack Obama the opportunity to nominate his successor smack of pure jiggery pokery.

Scalia’s death leaves just three conservative voices on the nine-member court, against four liberal voices and one moderate voice in the form of Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

Naturally, the Republicans are anxious to prevent a leftward tilt on the court. They hope the next president can decide the replacement, and they hope one of their guys and not Democrats Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will be the one making that decision. This would mean Scalia’s seat would be left vacant for at least one year.

To this end, Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he won’t even consider any nominee put forth by Obama. The Senate has a Constitutional duty to vet and then vote on the president’s nominee. However, McConnell and his colleague Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, can use their procedural authority to stymie the nomination process.

What would the originalist Scalia make of such obstructionism? It’s the Senate’s job to debate and vote on Obama’s nominee, whoever that might be.

An election year Scotus nomination is not without precedent. In 1988, Ronald Reagan nominee Anthony Kennedy sailed through the Democratic-controlled Senate in a 97-0 vote. Kennedy has been a swing vote on many of the court’s 5-4 decisions, siding with his liberal colleagues on issues such as gay marriage, but joining his conservative colleagues on cases such as Citizens United. 

In a contentious battle fought largely along party lines, the Democrats had rejected Reagan’s earlier nominee, Robert Bork, fearing his position on privacy rights and Roe v. Wade. The Democrats had so vilified Bork that his name eventually became a verb, meaning to vilify a person with the goal of denying him an appointment to public office. Surely, the Republicans and Obama can find a similar consensus candidate and not bork up the nomination process.

The Republicans’ obstructionist strategy is not without risks. Should they lose this battle in the court of public opinion and at the ballot box in November, the next three justices could all be appointed by a Democrat. Kennedy is 79, while Bill Clinton appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are 82 and 72, respectively.

GOP Cynicism on the Supreme Court Reaches a New Low. No one’s ever observed the ‘Thurmond Rule’ barring the confirmation of judges in the last year of a presidential term. And there’s no precedent for what Senate Republicans are planning now.

A spokesman for Mitch McConnell said that the Senate should confirm judicial appointees through at least the summer.  The cutoff for confirming judges in an election year, known as the ‘Thurmond Rule,’ “doesn’t need to be June, especially because we’re so far behind on the legislative calendar,” he said.

Similarly, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “Let me say this about the Thurmond Rule. It is a myth. It does not exist. There is no reason for stopping the confirmation of judicial nominees in the second half of a year in which there is a Presidential election.”
Even a Bush spokesperson said that the “only thing clear about the so-called ‘Thurmond Rule’ is that there is no such defined rule.” 

Of course, all that was in 2008, when George W. Bush was the lame-duck president and Democrats controlled the Senate.

Now that it’s 2016, and the tables are turned, McConnell has said he’d be shocked, shocked if President Obama nominated a Supreme Court justice as late as February of his final year in office.

In fact, while there’s hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle, a review of recent history shows indicate more of it on the Republican side.

Let’s begin at the beginning.  For 166 years, Supreme Court confirmations used to be a matter of course, with rare exceptions.  In the 19th century, they usually took only a few days.  The current process of Judiciary committee hearings began only in 1955, in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education, with segregationists and other conservatives outraged at the “activist” Warren Court.

The custom of not confirming judges in a presidential election year began with the avowed segregationist Strom Thurmond, who opposed LBJ’s appointment of Abe Fortas as Chief Justice back in 1968.  (Notice, by the way, the “Thurmond Rule” wasn’t even about filling a vacancy – it was about moving Fortas from Associate to Chief Justice.)

Prior to that time, Supreme Court nominations in election years were par for the course.  Justices Frank Murphy was nominated in 1940, Cardozo in 1932, Clarke and Brandeis in 1916, and Pitney in 1912.

But there were many reasons for conservatives to oppose Fortas.  As an associate justice, he had maintained an unusually close relationship with LBJ (allegedly, Fortas helped write one of LBJ’s State of the Union speeches).  There was a minor scandal involving speaking fees. There was Fortas’s religion – it was one thing to have a “Jewish seat” on the Supreme Court, but quite another to have a Jew as Chief.

But mostly, it was ideology.  Fortas was a full-fledged member of the Warren Court, extending due process rights to minors, and writing the opinion that effectively banned creationism from public schools.

The tactic worked.  The Fortas appointment was withdrawn, and the position of chief justice has been held by a conservative for the last 46 years (Burger, Rehnquist, Roberts).

Since then, the “Thurmond Rule” has been understood as holding that lifetime appointments of all types should not be made in the final six months of a president’s term in office.

In practice, however, the “Thurmond Rule” could best be described as the “Sore Loser’s Rule,” since it is wielded by whichever party doesn’t hold the White House at the moment.  In July, 2004, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said there was no such thing.  And Republican Senator John Cornyn threatened in 2008 that if Democrats invoked the Thurmond Rule, Republicans would go nuclear: “We could require 60 votes on every single motion, bill and procedural move before the Senate,” he said at the time.

Now, it’s the Republicans’ turn to invoke the rule, and Democrats’ turn to be outraged. 

But some hypocrisy is more equal than others.

First, the Thurmond Rule has never been extended back this far.  In 2008, Democrats didn’t invoke it until the late summer; Senator Dianne Feinstein said it kicks in after the first party convention.  It’s February now, and even the longest Supreme Court confirmation in history – that of Justice Brandeis, in 1916 – took 125 days.  (Brandeis was called a “radical” and bitterly opposed by conservatives, with antisemitism even more overt than Fortas later faced.)  So this would be an unprecedented expansion of the “Rule.”

Second, the ‘Rule’ has never been applied to Supreme Court vacancies.  On the contrary, when President Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy to the court, he was confirmed 97-0 on February 3, 1988, with Senator McConnell voting in favor.

Now, in fairness, Kennedy was nominated in November, 1987, after the Bork-Ginsburg controversies had left the court with eight justices for five months – seven months counting Kennedy’s confirmation.  It was arguably a special case.  Moreover, Kennedy was a consensus nominee who has emerged as the swing vote over the last decade precisely because he votes equally with conservatives (as in Citizens United) and liberals (as in the same-sex marriage cases).

But if no justice were confirmed now, the vacancy would be even longer: twelve months at least. 

Third, the statistics cut sharply against Republicans.

According to a detailed study by the Brookings Institute, the Senate has already slowed down the pace of judicial confirmations to record levels.  In the case of Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, confirmations didn’t slow down until the second half of the presidents’ eighth year in office.  In their seventh years, the Senate confirmed 23, 17, and 29 judges, respectively.  In Obama’s seventh year? 

In other words, the two-term Republican presidents fared almost twice as well as the two-term Democrat presidents, with Obama faring the worst by far.

Moreover, the “Thurmond Rule” has rarely been applied with the orthodoxy Republicans now are claiming. An exhaustive 2008 report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service unearthed a goldmine of historical information that belies the current majority’s claims:

In 1980, the Republican-led Senate confirmed 10 out of 13 judges nominated by President Carter in  September, with Senator Thurmond himself coming under fire for trying to block some of them.

In October, 1988, the Democratic-led Senate Judiciary committee led by Joe Biden confirmed 11 out of 22 of Ronald Reagan’s judicial appointees.  In October, 1992, the same committee confirmed 11 of George H.W. Bush’s.

In 2000, the Republican-led Senate confirmed 31 of President Clinton’s 56 nominations.  And the 2004 Senate (narrow Republican majority, Republican president) confirmed a whopping 80% of nominees—despite claims that the Democrat minority was obstructing them.

In 2008, a Brookings Institute review found that George W. Bush’s confirmation rate was 58% for circuit court nominations, 43% for district courts—in other words, roughly the same.

In short, until this one, an opposing-party Senate has never observed the Thurmond Rule.  Not in 1980, not in 1988, not in 1992, not in 2000.  There are typically slowdowns in confirmations, but never a standstill.  And the rule has never been invoked before the summer, let alone before the cherry blossoms bloom.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, we’re in new territory this year, and at new heights of hypocrisy.

Scalia-Ginsburg friendship bridged opposing ideologies. Polar opposites on the bench, Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a long, deep and unexpected friendship.

Ginsburg remembered her "best buddy" as someone who both revered the Constitution and the Supreme Court.

"Justice Scalia once described as the peak of his days on the bench an evening at the Opera Ball when he joined two Washington National Opera tenors at the piano for a medley of songs. He called it the famous Three Tenors performance," she said in a statement on Sunday. "He was, indeed, a magnificent performer. It was my great good fortune to have known him as working colleague and treasured friend."

During a joint appearance with the woman he also has called his "best buddy" on the bench, Scalia said, "Why don't you call us the odd couple?"

"What's not to like?" Scalia joked at the event hosted by the Smithsonian Associates. "Except her views on the law, of course."

The two justices and their families vacationed together. There was a trip to Europe where Ginsburg went parasailing, leaving Scalia on the ground to admire her courage but at the same time worry she might just float away.

In her chambers, she has a picture of them riding an elephant in India. Ginsburg -- the pioneer of gender equality-- has said that she was only sitting behind Scalia to distribute weight more evenly on the elephant.

Ginsburg's late husband, Martin Ginsburg, was a gourmet chef, and the two justices often spent New Year's Eve together celebrating with their spouses.

They never shied away from the fact that they didn't often agree in many opinions.

It was Ginsburg who wrote the landmark 1996 case, United States v. Virginia. The opinion struck down the all-male admissions policy at the Virginia Military Institute. Scalia dissented, but he offered her an advanced look at his dissent in order to improve her majority opinion.

She often said that having the dissent ruined her weekend but made her final product better.

They disagreed on same-sex marriage and wound up on opposite ends of the case. Ginsburg welcomed the swift change that swept across the country and brought the issue to the Supreme Court. Scalia believed fervently that the issue should be decided by the people, not the courts.

He wrote a biting dissent when the court cleared the way for gay marriage last spring.

"The issue is quite simply who decides, that's all," he said at the Smithsonian event.

But he respected Ginsburg for the kind of judge she is, offering clear and concise guidance to the lower courts.

"I love him, but sometimes I'd like to strangle him," Ginsburg once said, according to Reuters.

As close as their friendship was, they never went duck hunting together. Justice Elena Kagan got that honor. After she joined the court, Scalia taught her to shoot. They started out with clay pigeons and later moved to deer, antelope and ducks.

Scalia frequently appeared at events hosted by the conservative Federalist Society, where he would be greeted with a standing ovation. Once he brought all nine of his children on stage with him.

Ginsburg's standing ovations come from the more liberal American Constitution Society. Last Friday she went to the ribbon cutting of the new law school at American University, praising the school that had been founded by women.

"Brilliant thinkers, they loved a good joke, the law and opera," said Arnold & Porter lawyer Lisa S. Blatt, a former clerk of Ginsburg.

Blatt, who argues frequently before the court, often found herself the recipient of tough questions from both justices.

"They had the world in common," Blatt said.

Scalia was also the subject of a one-man play, "The Originalist, " recently at the Arena Stage theater in Washington.

Actor Edward Gero did an uncanny job in capturing Scalia's mannerisms. Scalia took it all in stride, referring to it as the "age of celebrity" and telling the Smithsonian audience he would not be going to see the play.

But Ginsburg revealed his more personal side, noting that he had gone out of his way to have lunch with Gero. He also invited him to oral arguments.

Ginsburg and Scalia were also the subject of an opera, "Scalia/Ginsburg," composed by Derrick Wang. It had its debut last spring.

At speaking events, Ginsburg often delighted in reading excerpts from the opening aria of the Scalia character: "The Justices are blind! How can they possibly spout this/The Constitution says absolutely nothing about this."
Read Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Touching Statement on Scalia. The friendship between Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia was the stuff of Washington lore. The way the two justices, who were often polar opposites on the bench, managed to form an unlikely friendship had often been written about, and it even inspired an opera. “Call us the odd couple,” Scalia said last year at a George Washington University event alongside Ginsburg. “She likes opera, and she's a very nice person. What's not to like?” he asked. “Except her views on the law.”

On Sunday, Ginsburg remembered her “best buddy” with a touching statement that shines a light into the unique bond they had built over the years:

Toward the end of the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, tenor Scalia and soprano Ginsburg sing a duet: "We are different, we are one," different in our interpretation of written texts, one in our reverence for the Constitution and the institution we serve.

From our years together at the D.C. Circuit, we were best buddies. We disagreed now and then, but when I wrote for the Court and received a Scalia dissent, the opinion ultimately released was notably better than my initial circulation. Justice Scalia nailed all the weak spots-the "applesauce" and "argle bargle"-and gave me just what I needed to strengthen the majority opinion. He was a jurist of captivating brilliance and wit, with a rare talent to make even the most sober judge laugh. The press referred to his "energetic fervor," "astringent intellect," "peppery prose," "acumen," and "affability," all apt descriptions. He was eminently quotable, his pungent opinions so clearly stated that his words never slipped from the reader's grasp.

Justice Scalia once described as the peak of his days on the bench an evening at the Opera Ball when he joined two Washington National Opera tenors at the piano for a medley of songs. He called it the famous Three Tenors performance. He was, indeed, a magnificent performer. It was my great good fortune to have known him as working colleague and treasured friend.

The other justices also released statements on their late colleague.

Justice Anthony Kennedy:
In years to come any history of the Supreme Court will, and must, recount the wisdom, scholarship, and technical brilliance that Justice Scalia brought to the Court. His insistence on demanding standards shaped the work of the Court in its private discussions, its oral arguments, and its written opinions.

Yet these historic achievements are all the more impressive and compelling because the foundations of Justice Scalia’s jurisprudence, the driving force in all his work, and his powerful personality were shaped by an unyielding commitment to the Constitution of the United States and to the highest ethical and moral standards.

In the fullness of time Justice Scalia’s beautiful family will be sustained by the force and dynamism of his intellect and personality, attributes that were so decent and so powerful; but now they mourn. We give them assurances of our deepest sympathy and our lasting friendship.

Justice Clarence Thomas:
Justice Scalia was a good man; a wonderful husband who loved his wife and his family; a man of strong faith; a towering intellect; a legal giant; and a dear, dear friend. In every case, he gave it his all to get the broad principles and the small details right. Virginia and I are deeply saddened by his sudden and untimely death. Our prayers and love go out to Maureen and the Scalia family. It is hard to imagine the Court without my friend. I will miss him beyond all measure.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer:
Nino Scalia was a legal titan. He used his great energy, fine mind, and stylistic genius to further the rule of law as he saw it. He was man of integrity and wit. His interests were wide ranging as was his knowledge about law, this Nation and its Constitution. He loved his family. He also loved ideas, music, and the out of doors. He shared with us, his colleagues, his enthusiasms, his humor, his mental agility, his seriousness of purpose.  We benefitted greatly. His contribution to the law was a major one. Our hearts go out to Maureen and his family. We have lost a fine colleague and a very good friend. We shall miss him hugely.

Justice Samuel Alito:
Martha-Ann and I are deeply saddened by the terrible news. Nino was a remarkable person, and I feel very honored to have known him and to have had him as a colleague.  He was a towering figure who will be remembered as one of the most important figures in the history of the Supreme Court and a scholar who deeply influenced our legal culture. His intellect, learning, wit, and memorable writing will be sorely missed, and Martha-Ann and I will deeply miss him as a friend. We will keep Nino, Maureen, and their family in our prayers.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor:
My colleague Nino Scalia was devoted to his family, friends, our Court, and our country. He left an indelible mark on our history. I will miss him and the dimming of his special light is a great loss for me. My thoughts are with Maureen, his children, and his grandchildren.

Justice Elena Kagan:
Nino Scalia will go down in history as one of the most transformational Supreme Court Justices of our nation. His views on interpreting texts have changed the way all of us think and talk about the law. I admired Nino for his brilliance and erudition, his dedication and energy, and his peerless writing. And I treasured Nino’s friendship: I will always remember, and greatly miss, his warmth, charm, and generosity. Maureen and the whole Scalia family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Chief Justice John Roberts had already released a statement Saturday:
On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. 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.

Antonin Scalia replacement: Obama might bypass Senate and to fill Supreme Court seat.
Following Antonin Scalia's death over the weekend, Senate Republicans have argued that the Supreme Court's current vacancy should not be filled until the new president takes office next year. They've vowed to make it nearly impossible for Obama to fill that vacancy until then.

However, President Obama could decide to make a recess appointment and have his choice of Supreme Court justice serve a term that would last until the end of the next session of Congress. 

In 2014, the Supreme Court decided that recess appointments can occur if the Senate is on a break that lasts more than 10 days, as this year's scheduled summer holiday does. According to Politico, the Senate will be on their summer holiday between July 18 and Sept. 5. In this time frame, President Obama can appoint Scalia's replacement without the Senate's approval.

In one tweet posted on Feb. 13, Conn Carroll, the communications director for Republican Senator Mike Lee, suggests that the senators may avoid going on a break altogether to prevent this from happening. 

The Senate may also appoint a member from Virginia, Maryland or Delaware to hold pro forma sessions during the break, ensuring that the Senate is always in session. However, in 2012 Obama said the pro forma sessions do not override his constitutional responsibility to make appointments.

According to a tweet by a Reuters White House correspondent, Obama reportedly said late Sunday that he will not try to push through a nominee during the current Senate recess that runs from Feb. 12 to Feb. 22.

Anyway, even thought it took 45 seconds after Scalia's death for the GOP to start to exploit it, lets discuss that crazy debate held Saturday night in South Carolina. That was the craziest debate I have ever seen and it was the worst as far as them going at each other than any other to date. Like I said here, it was crazy. It was an awful debate. The crowd of course was rawkus but they were nuts too.

Ted Cruz was caught in another lie. He said that no other POTUS confirmed a Supreme Court Justice since Roosevelt when Kennedy was appointed and confirmed in 187 and 188 according. After a brief sigh when called out on it, he just went off about what  great man Judge Scalia was and never even remotely answered the question.

Donald Trump when discussing Osama Bin Laden sounded more like a democrat than a Republican.

Marco Rubio probably came out looking the best but his speeches were all canned verbatim to whatever and whomever told him to say. 

Dr. Ben Carson quipped again about not getting enough time to speak.

Jeb Bush sounded goofy again, but he dis do OK. He still for some reason thinks by pulling out his brother George (Bush) Jr. is going to help his campaign.

John Kasich even gasped at the yelling and bickering and name calling among them. However, John Kasich did sound like the adult in the room. I truly like him the best out of all of the candidates but I have always liked him. He has been on the show (Morning Joe) for many years and he is the only one that sounded real.

Overall, they blamed Bill Clinton now for 9/11. 

The ninth GOP debate featured the top six remaining candidates for the party’s presidential nomination. They repeated several false and misleading claims, and made some new ones, too.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz claimed that “we have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year.” That’s wrong. Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988, an election year.
  • Businessman Donald Trump called Cruz the “single biggest liar” for saying Trump “supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.” But Trump did leave open the possibility of funding some aspects before later saying he wouldn’t support funding as long as the group performed abortions.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio said that illegal immigration “is worse today than it was three years ago, which is worse than it was five years ago.” The estimated number of immigrants in the country illegally has remained stable over that time.
  • Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson attributed a quote to Joseph Stalin that experts say didn’t come from the Soviet dictator.
  • Trump falsely claimed that a failed eminent domain case to benefit a Trump casino project in 1998 “wasn’t for a parking lot.” It was.
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush conflated two Trump quotes in claiming Trump called Sen. John McCain a “loser because he was a P.O.W.” Trump said he was a loser, because he lost the 2008 presidential election.
  • Trump claimed that the nation’s economy “didn’t grow” in the last quarter. It did grow, by a small amount.
  • Trump repeated his claim that he is a self-funded candidate. Not entirely. His money makes up 66 percent of his campaign’s money through the end of 2015. The rest comes from individual donors.
And there were several other repeated claims we’ve fact-checked before on jobs, taxes, immigration and regulation.

The debate was held in Greenville, South Carolina, and moderated by John Dickerson of CBS News. Participating were: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and businessman Donald Trump. It was the first Republican debate since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina ended their presidential campaigns.

An Election-Year Supreme Court Confirmation

Dickerson asked the candidates if, given the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama should use his constitutional authority to name a replacement justice this year.

Cruz claimed that “we have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year.” That’s wrong.

President Ronald Reagan nominated Justice Anthony Kennedy to the high court on Nov. 30, 1987, and Kennedy was confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 3, 1988, by a vote of 97-0. That was the same year that George H.W. Bush was elected to succeed Reagan as president.

Kennedy was actually Reagan’s third nominee to replace retiring Justice Lewis Powell. Robert Bork, who Reagan nominated on July 1, 1987, was rejected by a vote of 42-58 on Oct. 23, 1987. And Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his name from consideration in early November 1987, after acknowledging that he had smoked marijuana several times.

When Dickerson pointed out that Kennedy was confirmed in 1988, Cruz said, “No, Kennedy was confirmed in ’87.” But Dickerson was right and Cruz was wrong.

That also makes Rubio’s claim that “it has been over 80 years since a lame duck president has appointed a Supreme Court justice” problematic.

If Rubio considers Obama to be a “lame duck president,” meaning his time as president will soon be over, the same could be said of Reagan, who nominated a replacement justice well into his second and final term as president.

Trump’s Position on Planned Parenthood

When Cruz said Trump “supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood,” Trump responded that Cruz was the “single biggest liar.” Trump said in August that he didn’t support funding abortions performed by Planned Parenthood but he left open the possibility of funding other aspects of the group’s work on women’s health.

In early September, however, Trump said, “I wouldn’t do any funding as long as they are performing abortions.”

Here’s part of the disagreement between the two candidates in the debate:
Trump: Where did I support?
Cruz: You supported it when we were battling over defunding Planned Parenthood. You went on…
Trump: That’s a lot of lies.
Cruz: You said, “Planned Parenthood does wonderful things and we should not defund it.”
Trump: It does do wonderful things but not as it relates to abortion.
Cruz: So I’ll tell you what…
Trump: Excuse me. Excuse me, there are wonderful things having to do with women’s health.
Cruz: You see you and I…
Trump: But not when it comes to abortion.
In an Aug. 11, 2015, interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Trump said, “Well, the biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. It’s like an abortion factory frankly. You can’t have it and it shouldn’t be funding and that should not be funded by the government. I feel strongly about that.”
He went on to say, “What I would do is look at the individual things that they do and maybe some of the things are good, I know a lot of things are bad. But certainly the abortion aspect of it should not be funded by government.”
Cuomo followed up, asking, “So you would take a look at it before you defund it. That’s what is being asked for right now. Many in your party are doing the opposite. They are saying defund it and then look at it. You’d say look at it first.”

Trump responded: “I would look at the good aspects of it. I would also look as I’m sure they do some things properly and good and good for women. I would look at that. I would look at other aspects also, but we have to take care of women. We have to absolutely take care of women. The abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood should not be funded.”

So, Trump did not say he supported cutting off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, as other Republicans, including Cruz, have done. He did say that abortions performed by Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be funded. (For the record, federal funding for abortion is restricted by the Hyde Amendment to only abortion cases involving rape, incest or endangerment to the life of the mother.)

But, as CNN wrote in a headline on the Trump interview, he has waffled on this issue. A week earlier, on Aug. 4, 2015, radio host Hugh Hewitt asked whether Trump would support shutting down the government in an attempt to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Trump responded: “I would.”

Trump has made other conflicting statements. Also on Aug. 11, in an interview with Fox News when asked whether taxpayers should give Planned Parenthood a penny since it performs abortions, Trump said that abortion services was a small part of what the group did and that it provided important services to women (starting at the 5:50 mark).
Trump, Aug. 11, Fox News: Let’s say there’s two Planned Parenthoods in a way. You have it as an abortion clinic. Now that’s actually a fairly small part of what they do, but it’s a brutal part and I’m totally against it and I wouldn’t do that. They also however service women. …
We have to help women. A lot of women are helped. We have to look at the positives, also, for Planned Parenthood.
Trump left open the possibility of cutting off funding unless the group stops performing abortions, saying, “Maybe unless they stop with the abortions, we don’t do the funding for the stuff that we want. There are many ways you can do that.”

But then in another Fox News interview on Sept. 8 with Bill O’Reilly, Trump took a harder line and denied that he supported funding the group: “No, I mean a lot of people say it’s an abortion clinic. I’m opposed to that. And I wouldn’t do any funding as long as they are performing abortions. And they are performing abortions. So I would be opposed to funding — I would be totally opposed to funding,” Trump said.

Rubio Wrong on Illegal Immigration

Rubio said that illegal immigration “is worse today than it was three years ago, which is worse than it was five years ago.” It has remained pretty flat in that time.

There were 11.3 million people living in the U.S. illegally in 2014. That’s the most recent estimate from the Pew Research Center. That is lower than the 11.5 million the center estimated were living in the U.S. illegally three years earlier in 2011, and the same as the 11.3 million in 2009.

Overall, “[t]his population has remained essentially stable for five years after nearly two decades of changes,” Pew said in its July 2015 report.

Stalin Didn’t Say That

In his closing statement, Carson attributed a quote to Joseph Stalin that experts say didn’t come from the Soviet dictator.
“Joseph Stalin said if you want to bring America down you, have to undermine three things: our spiritual life, our patriotism and our morality,” Carson said. “We, the people, can stop that decline, starting right here in South Carolina.”

The Internet myth-busters at looked into the quote when it made the rounds as a Facebook meme (the exact quote attributed to Stalin then was, “America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”). Snopes searched collections of Stalin’s speeches, writings, interviews and other statements and was unable to turn up any reference to that quote. Snopes also noted that none of the numerous citations on the Internet referenced a verifiable source for the quote.

After the debate, we reached out to David Brandenberger, an associate professor of history and international studies at the University of Richmond, who has written extensively about Stalin, and he told us the quote is bogus.

“Indeed, the only thing more remarkable than Carson quoting Stalin at the debate was that he attributed to him a made-up quotation,” Brandenberger told us via email. “Of course, Stalin is often credited with apocryphal statements (‘Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem,’ etc.), but that doesn’t excuse Carson tonight.”

Stanford history professor Norman Naimark, who holds the Robert and Florence McDonnell Chair in East European History and wrote “Stalin’s Genocides,” told us he has never heard of that quote from Stalin either. “I suspect Carson made it up, but I don’t know for sure,” Naimark told us.

Trump/Bush on Eminent Domain

Trump and Bush once again argued over New Jersey’s failed attempts to use eminent domain to benefit a Trump casino project in Atlantic City. But, in defending himself, Trump misrepresented the case.

Trump falsely claimed that the eminent domain case “wasn’t for a parking lot,” but rather for “a very large tower” that would “employ thousands.” But the eminent domain case was for a parking lot. A “very large tower” was not part of the condemnation proceedings, but there was a proposed hotel renovation that would have been accomplished through a private sale.
Trump: When Jeb had said, “You used eminent domain privately for a parking lot.” It wasn’t for a parking lot. The state of New Jersey — too bad Chris Christie is not here, he could tell you — the state of New Jersey went to build a very large tower that was going to employ thousands of people. I mean, it was going to really do a big job in terms of economic development.
Here are the facts, as we have reported once before: The state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority attempted to condemn three parcels of land in Atlantic City as part of a $28.6 million hotel project proposed by Trump Plaza Associates. The properties were owned separately by three families with the last names Banin, Coking and Sabatini.

Here’s how a state court judge, in ruling against the state and Trump in 1998, described Trump’s proposal and the three properties that the state wanted to condemn to complete it:
Casino Reinvestment Development Authority v. Banin, July 20, 1998: Trump’s project called for the redevelopment of the city block abutting the boardwalk between the Trump Plaza Hotel-Casino and Caesars Hotel-Casino. The block was located in the Corridor Area which was an area previously identified by CRDA for redevelopment. The site was occupied by the former Holiday Inn Hotel, the rusting steel structure of the aborted Penthouse Hotel-Casino project, some undeveloped lots and a few private residences and small businesses. Included within the site were the properties of defendants Banin, Coking and Sabatini.
Trump’s project proposed creation of a 361-room hotel by rehabilitation of the Holiday Inn building; removal of the dilapidated Penthouse steel structure; construction of surface parking and a driveway bisecting the block from Missouri Avenue to the entrance of the Trump Plaza Hotel; and creation of a park or privately-owned landscaped area along Pacific Avenue. The project also called for construction of a two-story porte-cochere at the Trump Plaza entrance spanning Columbia Place, the public street between Trump Plaza and the site, as well as linkage of the renovated hotel to Trump Plaza by way of a sky bridge over Columbia Place near the Boardwalk.
Superior Court Judge Richard Williams wrote in his opinion that the “parcels in the area proposed for the driveway, surface parking, and the landscaped park area were held by other owners. Because Trump had previously been unable to acquire these privately-owned parcels, CRDA was requested to use its power of eminent domain for their acquisition.”

Williams wrote that under Trump’s plan “Coking’s property [would] be blacktopped and used for surface parking and Banin and Sabatini’s properties would be planted with grass and used for a park or green space.”

It was Vera Coking who was featured in a Cruz ad attacking Trump for seeking to bulldoze Coking’s home “for a limousine parking lot for his casino.” As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 1998, Trump proposed “a limousine waiting area” on Coking’s property.

So, while Trump can make the argument that his project would have created jobs, he cannot say that the eminent domain case “wasn’t for a parking lot.” It was for a parking lot and public park to complete the project.

Did Trump Call McCain a ‘Loser’?

In a pointed exchange, Bush claimed Trump once called Sen. John McCain a “loser because he was a P.O.W.” Trump called McCain a loser, but not because he was a prisoner of war. He called him a “loser” because he lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama.

In the debate, Bush said, “And, it’s really weak to call John McCain a loser because he was a P.O.W.”

“I never called him — I don’t call him,” Trump responded.

“That is outrageous,” Bush continued. “The guy’s an American hero.”

There are two Trump quotes in question here. And Bush was conflating them.

At the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, in July, Trump said of McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” In comments to the media after his speech, Trump seemed to walk that back a bit, saying, “If somebody’s a prisoner, I consider them a war hero.”

In the same speech, Trump also took a shot at McCain for losing the 2008 presidential race to Barack Obama.
“He lost,” Trump said. “He let us down. I never liked him as much after that because I don’t like losers.”

GDP Growth

Trump claimed that the nation’s economy “didn’t grow” in the last quarter. It did grow, although fourth-quarter growth was weak.
Trump: We have an economy that last quarter, GDP didn’t grow. It was flat. We have to make our economy grow again.
In a Jan. 29 press release, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said the nation’s gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. For the year, the U.S. economy grew by 2.4 percent — the same as 2014, BEA said.

Not Entirely Self-Funded

Trump repeated his claim that he is a “self-funder” when it comes to funding his campaign. Not completely, he isn’t.
Trump’s presidential campaign received $19.4 million in 2015, according to Trump’s year-end filing with the Federal Election Commission in January. Trump loaned his campaign $12.6 million of that amount, and he made additional in-kind contributions of $219,000. So,nearly 66 percent of the campaign’s money has come from Trump. The other 34 percent, or $6.5 million, has come from individual donors.

We should also note that since Trump has loaned that money to his campaign, rather than donating it, he could potentially get it back. The individual donations that the campaign has received are enough to cover about half of the campaign’s $12.4 million in spending as of Dec. 31, 2015.

It’s Groundhog Day All Over Again

Groundhog Day was less than two weeks ago, but watching the Republican debate felt a bit like that for us at — we have seen many of the same misleading claims crop up again and again. Here are some of the repeat claims we heard:
  • Cruz: “The business flat tax that is in my tax plan is not a VAT [Value-Added Tax]. A VAT in Europe is a sales tax.” As we wrote when this came up during the sixth Republican debate, the nonpartisan, business-funded Tax Foundation has described the Cruz proposal as a “subtraction method value-added tax,” and the conservative National Review also describes it as a VAT.
  • Bush: “The Cato Institute, which grades governors based on their spending, rank [Kasich] right at the bottom.” We wrote about this recently after ads from the pro-Bush super PAC Right to Rise cited Cato Institute’s 2014 “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors,” in which it gave Kasich an overall “D” rating and rated him worst among all governors on spending. We noted that the rating is based on data about Ohio’s general revenue fund spending, but the nonpartisan group that published the data warned that the figures for Ohio were skewed, for state comparison purposes, due to accounting methods employed by the state for Medicaid expenditures.
  • Bush: “We led the nation in job growth seven out of eight years” when he was governor of Florida. Bush has twisted jobs data a few different ways during the campaign, and this time his campaign says he is referring to the total number of jobs created in the last seven years of his governorship. As we noted last June, Florida gained more net jobs than any other state, regardless of size, in three of the eight years Bush was governor. But when it comes to the rate of job growth — which factors in the size of the state’s job market – Florida ranked fifth over the entire eight years of Bush’s two terms.
  • Cruz: “Marco [Rubio] went on Univision in Spanish and said he would not rescind President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty on his first day in office.” As we explainedwhen Cruz made a similar charge on two Sunday talk shows on Jan. 31, Rubio said he wouldn’t immediately revoke Obama’s 2012 order protecting so-called “Dreamers” — young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents — though he said it would have to end “at some point.” But Rubio has said he would revoke Obama’s 2014 executive action that protects as many as 5 million adults from deportation.
  • Rubio: “And here is the truth, Ted Cruz supported legalizing people that were in this country illegally.” We’ve covered this one repeatedly, as it has come up in multiple debates. We covered the issue in detail after the fifth Republican debate, and the gist of it is that Cruz offered an amendment to a Senate immigration bill to strip it of a path to citizenship — although it would have left open the possibility of legalization. Cruz spoke many times in favor of his amendment, advocating its passage, but Cruz’s campaign says that was a political bluff to show that the real aim of the bill’s supporters was a path to citizenship, and that he never actually supported legalization.
  • Carson: “You know, when you consider how much regulations cost us each year, you know? $2 trillion dollars per family, $24,000 per family.” We last wrote about this when then Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said in February 2015 that the cost of government regulation “hits American families for $15,000 a year.” That figure comes from a conservative group’s admitted “back-of-the-envelope” calculation of estimated regulatory costs that does not include any potential savings. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has released a newer version of the report cited by Perry, but the same shortcomings apply.
  • Rubio: “Well, first of all, I think amnesty is the forgiveness of a wrongdoing without consequence and that — I’ve never supported that.” We wrote about Rubio’s evolution on immigration, as well as his evolving definition of amnesty back in 2013. In that story, we noted that in 2011, Rubio derided an “earned path to citizenship” as another word for “amnesty.”
  • Kasich: “We have grown the number of jobs by 400,000 private-sector jobs since I’ve been governor.” As we wrote when Kasich made a similar boast in the seventh GOP debate, Ohio has, in fact, gained 400,700 private-sector jobs under Kasich. Still, Ohio’s private-sector job growth rate of 9.3 percent during Kasich’s tenure lags behind the national private-sector growth rate of 11.7 percent.
Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham onthe show and the big question is what i said above here. Will hi brother's foreign policy controversies shadow Jeb Bush? George W. Bush won a bruising South Carolina presidential primary on his way to the Oval Office, as his father did before him. Now it's his brother's turn, and for Jeb Bush, the most consequential foreign policy decisions of his brother's tenure are suddenly front-and-center in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination — thanks to Donald Trump. 

The 43rd president already had announced plans to campaign for his younger brother Monday in South Carolina, marking his most direct entry into the 2016 race to date, when Trump, the GOP front-runner, used the final debate before the state's Feb. 20 primary as an opportunity to excoriate George W. Bush's performance as commander-in-chief. The former president, Trump said, ignored "the advice of his CIA" and "destabilized the Middle East" by invading Iraq on dubious claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

"I want to tell you: they lied," Trump said. "They said there were weapons of mass destruction. ... And they knew there were none."

Trump dismissed Jeb Bush's suggestion that George W. Bush built a "security apparatus to keep us safe" after the 9/11 attacks.

"The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign," Trump said, adding: "That's not keeping us safe."

The onslaught — "blood sport" for Trump, Jeb said — was the latest example of the billionaire businessman's penchant for mocking his rival as a weak, privileged tool of the Republican Party establishment.

But the exchange also highlighted the former Florida governor's embrace of his family name as he jockeys with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to emerge from South Carolina as the clear challenger to Trump, who won the New Hampshire primary, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the victor in Iowa's caucuses.

The approach takes away from Bush's months-long insistence that he's running as "my own man," but could be a perfect fit for South Carolina. "The Bush name is golden in my state," says South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who ended his White House run in December and endorsed Jeb Bush in January.

George W. Bush retains wide appeal among Republicans, from evangelicals and business leaders to military veterans. All are prominent in South Carolina, with Bush campaign aide Brett Doster going so far as to say that George W. Bush is "the most popular Republican alive."

After the debate, some Republicans again suggested Trump had gone too far. Bush wasn't alone on stage leaping to his brother's defense, with Rubio coming back to the moment to say, "I thank God all the time it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore."

The attack on George W. Bush carries risk for Trump, given the Bush family's long social and political ties in South Carolina and the state's hawkish national security bent, bolstered by more than a half-dozen military installations and a sizable population of veterans who choose to retire in the state.

Bush and his backers certainly hope it's the case. Right to Rise USA, a political action committee backing Bush, is airing two television ads blasting Trump and touting Bush for taking him on, and on Friday, a PAC spokesman says, a radio ad will launch compiling multiple audio clips of Trump using profanity in public settings, most recently when he used an uncouth epithet about Cruz.

"The time is now for South Carolina to end the Trump charade," an announcer says.

Yet Trump has repeatedly defied predictions that his comments might threaten his perch atop the field.

As he jousted Saturday with Trump, Jeb Bush said, "this is not about my family or his family."

But the Bushes have quite a history in South Carolina. In 2000, George W. Bush beat John McCain in a nasty contest, marred by rumors that McCain had an illegitimate black child. McCain adopted a child from Bangladesh. George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, won twice here, beating Bob Dole in 1988 and demolishing Pat Buchanan in 1992.

One of the elder Bush's top strategists, Lee Atwater, hailed from South Carolina. Last week, Jeb Bush touted the endorsement of Iris Campbell, the widow of former South Carolina Gov. Carroll Campbell, a national co-chairman of previous Bush presidential campaigns.

Yet even as he defended his brother's presidency at Saturday's debate, Jeb Bush found a way to distance himself from George W. Bush's business affairs — and criticized Trump at the same time. The issue: eminent domain.

Before entering politics, George W. Bush was part-owner of the Texas Rangers, and their home city of Arlington, Texas, used eminent domain to take private land and build a stadium for the team. Trump has defended such uses of eminent domain as a way to foster economic development.

Retorted Bush, who argued eminent domain should be reserved for public infrastructure projects, "There is all sorts of intrigue about where I disagree with my brother. There would be one right there."

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