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tv   CBS Evening News  CBS  February 13, 2016 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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the high court's conservative anchor found inside his room at a resort in texas. the stage is set in south carolina for tonight's cbs news republican debate. the final six candidates in their last face-to-face showdown before a crucial primary. a deadly pileup on an icy interstate, as temperatures in the northeast plummet toward record lows. and, why these kids from the class of 2032 have a million reasons to be thankful. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news." >> axelrod: good evening. i'm jim axelrod. we begin with breaking news. supreme court justice antonin scalia, dead at the age of 79. scalia was the longest serving justice of the current supreme court and its conservative. his body was found this morning in a luxury resort in west texas where he had been staying.
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the latest details. good evening, paula. >> good evening. >> axlerod: what can you tell us? >> senior u.s. supreme court justice antonin scalia died of natural causes at a ranch in southwest texas. he was on an annual trip to the state spending time with friends when he did not come down for breakfast. he was a devout catholic and a priest from the el paso diocese was called to administer last rites. justice scalia was one of the most influential minds on the court. he led a renaissance. governor abbott reflect opened how his faith informed his legal opinions. >> his faith was part of his decision-making process certainly interpreting the first amendment of the constitution. >> in his statement, the court said his passing is a great loss to the court and the country he served. we extend con doll lenses to
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he is survived by children and grandchildren. the white house says the president may have additional reaction later today. >> axlerod: thank you, paula. this evening, chief justice john roberts released a statement as well saying scalia was "an extraordinary individual and a jurist admired and treasuredly his colleagues." roberts said scalia's passing is a great loss to the court and the country he served. a fiery conservative, scalia came to the court 30 years ago, appointed in 1986 by president ronald reagan. scalia was a leading advocate for the strict interpretation of constitution and known for theater cal flare in the courtroom. his rijt conservatism and jabs directed at colleagues were well moan. his 'causic attack on liberal notions had an influence on a generation of young co he had a deep effect on the law.
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raised in queens, the son of italian immigrants was a high school valedictorian who studied at georgetown university and got his law degree at harvard. he issued thundererous dissents when the court upheld the right to abortion in 1992 and in 2003 when it struck down the laws that targeted gays and lesbians. scalia came under fire last december when he made controversial comments about an affirmative action case at the university of texas at austin. he said: in what may have been his most important majority-- in what may have his most important jamadaya jort opinion, scalia spoke for the court in 2008, declaring for the first time that the second amendment gave americans the right to own a gun for self- defense. he always played a key role in a series of 5-4 decisions that struck down campaign finance laws, and said all americans, including corporations and unions have free speech right to
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ads. he cast a crucial vote in bush v. gore in the case that made george bush president. he was held in high esteem by them. bringing in chief legal correspondent jan crawford. jan, the supreme court is scheduled to go back session a week from monday. how does the death of justice scalia affect the way in which the court will move forward? >> jim, it's really almost impossible to say just how much because there are so many different levels. obviously, on a personal level, just like you said, there were very, very good friendships on that court with the liberal justices. we think of justice scalia's conservative fire brand. you say some of his writin and liberals kind of out there watching thinking, oh, my gosh, he must be kind of off the wall but he had very close
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gins considering and justice kagan. with everybody on the court, he was beloved as a presence. when you think of his presence on the court, not only was he a conservative vote but but hoe provided the key fifth vote. this supreme court is closely divided, five conservative and four liberal justices. with justice scalia's passing, it's going to be 4-4 until the next president or the current president puts a new justice on that supreme court. so the entire balance of this supreme court now is at stake. justice scalia's passing could change the balance of the court. imagine the impact that could have on everyday american life. >> so what do we know, then, about the process of replacing him? how will that unfold? it is going to be remarkably complex and, of course, it unfolds during a presidential campaign. >> you hate to throw around the word "unprecedented" because it gets overuse bud this is literally unprecedented in modern history to have a justice whose vote is so crucial to the
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leaving the supreme court during an election year. it just hasn't happened in modern history. the president now is going to immediately, i would assume, get out his list and make a nomination. of course, there has to be background checks so that will take a matter of weeks. now the senate controlled by republicans and the judiciary committee is going to say we're not going to confirm your nominee because this is just too important. so you're going to see republicans and already the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell who came out and said this president should make the next nomination, the people need the vote. they say we can't have that, it would be a year on 4-4. democrats saying we have to have a vote. it's unprecedented and something we haven't seen in washington. >> axlerod: jan crawford, thank you very much. scalia's death is expected to
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republican debate in south carolina. major garrett joins us from south carolina. major, what are the candidates saying in the immediate aftermath of the news of justice scalia's passing? >> jim, when he was on the high court, justice scalia was a passionate defender of free speech in all of its forms in american life so it's not surprising the first c capt. reaction came on twitter a social media communication device not only unimaginable to mos scalia when he was appointed but most of his time on the high court. donald trump twe "to the totally unexpected loss of supreme court justice antonin % "to the totally unexpected loss of supreme court justice antoninti scalia is a massive setback for the conservative movement and our country." ted cruz also on twitter, "scalia was an american hero. we owe it to him and the nation for the senate to ensure that the next president, not president obama, but the next president name his replacement." marco rubio, john kasich, ands have also reacted in ways you might expect. and you alluded to earlier, jim, that most conservatives -- in fact all conservatives -- revere
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not only of free speech but original intent of the constitution and relied on his brilliance as a writer of opinions on the supreme court to not only guide the supreme court but to inform the conservative movement writ large in this country. so in that sense, this casts an enormous pall over want proceedings here in greenville. >> axelrod: major, that could go a couple of ways, i suppose. it could not only change the content of what's discussed, but also the tone in which it's discussed. >> reporter: certainly. and i will tell you our debate team was prepared to ask all of these candidates their orientation to the supreme court, what characteristics they would look for in a potentialn nominee, because even before justice scalia's shocking passing, it was anticipated that the next president of the unitednt states would have one, two,id possibly three vacancies. so that was an issue that we were going to raise anyway. it now takes on much greater significance tonight. also brings up the issue of the unexpected nature of crises and
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being able to deal with thosen th and respond to them on the fly. lastly, it may actually on then th podiums tonight, jim, change the atmosphere. candidates who might have come to this debate before the news of scalia's passing with an intent to mix if up a bit more aggressively might lay back a little bit because they don'tessi want to appear to be taking advantage of this very somber t moment of national unity. >> axelrod: major garrett, we natio will see you on the panel tonight. the debate begins at 9:00 eastern time, 8:00 central, 6:00 in the west, right here on cbs. we invite you to tweet us yournv questions using the hashtag #gopdebate. the day has been cold and the night getting colder in the northeast. in many places conditions aren't just unpleasant. they are dangerous. here's marlie hall. >> reporter: sunday wind gusts and blinding snow helped cause this massive 50-vehicle pileup s on the pennsylvania interstate this morning. authorities say at least three people died. >> it sounded like two bombs went off. >> this truck driver had never seen anything like it. >> it was total destruction.
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fayetville, north carolina, the winter wreaked havoc on roads not accustomed to snow and ice. >> once you get three inches, it's gridlock. >> reporter: in scranton, pennsylvania, a busted water main combined with frigid temperatures left homes frozen in time.home >> the city is facing some of the coldest temperatures and wind chills we've seen in the last 20 years. >> reporter: in new york, mayor bill de blasio warned reads thes area is facing single-digit temps and up to 30-mile-per-hour winds, especially dangerous for the homeless. how many people do you estimate are at risk? >> we have 3,000 to 4,000 people who we know broadly from the research that's been done, have d spent time on the streets on a regular basis. >> we have street sheets that have information about places where you can go, come indoors, maybe get a meal somewhere.. >> reporter: this is one of 160 outreach teams trying to makeure sure those living on the streetset are sheltered from wind chills
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below zero tonight. stefan russo works with goddard riverside community center. >> the last thing we want to see is somebody, you know, die on the street. people are in tremendous risk when it is-- when it is this cold. >> reporter: so cold, freezing temps forced the cancellation of central park's ice festival andival turned this fountain at bryant park into an icy work of art. the bone-chilling cold will continue through tomorrow. jim. >> axelrod: marlie hall in a frigid new york. thank you.ank for more on the frigid temperatures let's bring in eric fisher, chief meteorologist at wbz in boston. so, eric, we had record warming on the carter evans, and now potentially record cold on valentine's day? >> reporter: some of the same areas that were sniffing 70 on wer christmas eve go subzero tonight and the wind is a big factor, wind chill warnings encompassing much of the northeast. war
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that will break a record that has stood for 100 years. in boston, breaking the daily record set back in 1934. it also would be the first time we've had a new record in the city of boston in the month of february, since 1967, almost half a century. take a look across the northeast, cold valentine's day but then things start to change as we look towards the end of the week. th if you're wondering where the warmth is, it is in the west. san francisco, a shot at 80 by monday. l.a. with the marathon on sunday, dangerously hot temperatures, close to 90. in phoenix they have set record highs later, our chance for the earliest 90s ever recorded on wednesday. also tracking snow into the ohio valley sunday. this becomes a wintry mess. as we start the week on the east coast air, lot of travel delays on monday into tuesday. >> axelrod: eric fisher with the extreme forecast. thank you very much. still ahead, the video that got an elementary school teacher suspended when the cbs evening news continues.lood cells. and if you have afib-an irregular heartbeat
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they can pool together in the heart, forming a clot that can break free and travel upstream to the brain, where it can block blood flow and cause a stroke. but if you have afib that's not caused by a heart valve problem, pradaxa can help stop clots from forming. pradaxa was even proven superior to warfarin at reducing the risk of stroke, in a clinical trial without the need for regular blood tests. and, in the rare event of an emergency, >> axelrod: this is a cbs news special report. i'm jim axelrod at siebs news headquarters in new york. president barack obama is in rancho mirage, california, and about to mach a statement on the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia. scalia, who was 79 years old, the longest serving
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supreme court, and its conservative anchor, served on the court for 30 years. having been nominated by ronald reagan in 1986. justice scalia had been staying at a resort in west texas. when he didn't come down to breakfast this morning, his room was checked and his body was discovered. tonight, chief justice john roberts called scalia, "an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and trshed by his colleagues." let's bring in our chief legal correspondent jan crawford. jan, no exanlerations to say the ground is shaking in washington. >> reporter: oh, no exaggeration in washington and throughout the country. this is a complete shock. i spoke with people who had lunch with justice scalia just a few days ago when he was up in new york, and they had he was absolutely fine. he was joking. he was jovial. no indication at all that anything was wrong. so this comes as a complete shock. obviously, he's 79 years old, was going to be turning 80. but, you know, he was so full of life. i mean, even on the bench, in his writings. he was just someone that seized life, and you could
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so this, again, coming as a complete shock. and,sh, the landscape here in washington, the supreme court now in the balance, and the presidential election, all up in the air at this point with this news. >> axelrod: and already there have been calls from some prominent republicans to delay, the president delay nominating anyone until the election is settled and let the next president make that nomination. of course, we're going to hear from president obama in just a few seconds to get a little bit more on what his intentions are. but that kind of call you're already hearing, right, jan? >> reporter: well, sure, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has already said the next president should be able to get to make this important decision. the president has always complained about what he says is an obstructionist congress. but i mean, i think i would say you ain't seen nothing yet-- >> axelrod: here is the president of the united states. >> good evening, everybody.
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antonin nino scalia was a larger-than-life presence on the bench, brilliant legal mind with an energetic style, incisive wit, and colorful opinions. he influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students, and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. he will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the supreme court. justice scalia dedicated his life to the cornerstone of our democracy, the rule of law. tonight, we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time. antonin scalia was born in trenton, new jersey, to an italian immigrant family. after graduating from georgetown university and harvard law school, he worked at a law firm and taught law before entering a life of public service. he rose from assistant
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office will legal counsel to the judge on the d.c. circuit court, to associate justice of the supreme court. a devout catholic, he was a proud father of nine children and grandfather to many loving grandchildren. justice scalia was both an avid hunter and an opera lover, a passion for music that he shared with his dear colleague and friend, justice ruth bader ginsburg. michelle and i were proud to welcome him to the white house, including in 2012, for a state dinner for prime minister david cameron. and tonight, we join his fellow justices in mourning this remarkable man. obviously, today is a time to remember justice scalia's legacy. i plan to fulfill my constitutional
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a successor in due time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. these are responsibilities that i take seriously, as should everyone. they're bigger than any one party. they are about our democracy. they're about the institution to which justice scalia dedicated his professional life and making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our founders envisioned. but at this moment, we most of all want to think about his family. and michelle and i join the nation in sending our deepest sympathies to justice scalia's wife, maureen, and their loving family, a beautiful symbol of a life well lived. we thank them for sharing justice scalia with our country. god bless them all.
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states of america. >> axelrod: president barack obama, who is making a statement at rancho mirage, california on, the death of justice antonin scalia, calling the justice "a man who profoundly shaped the legal landscape," celebrating his extraordinary service to our nation, a remarkable man he called justice scalia. but the headline as we just heard the president was very clear saying he intends to honor his constitutional responsibility and nominate a successor to justice scalia, and he expects the senate, the republican senate, to honor its responsibility and give it a timely hearing and a vote. let's call in our chief legal correspondent jan crawford right now. jan, what did you hear in the president's remarks? >> reporter: well, i mean, in addition, of course, to his tribute to justice scalia, who really is a conservative icon and towering legal figure as he mentioned, who has a tremendous impact on the development of american law, and by extension, everyday
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most interesting is when he's looking forward to say he is going to be, as we would expect, sending up a nominee to replace and to the senate he called for a fair hearing and a timely vote. now, of course, the constitution gives the president the power to put justices on the supreme court with the advice, as the constitution says, of the senate to-- the senate will advise and consent. so want question is now what is the senate going to do? and already we've seen from leading senate figures, including the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, that the next president should be able to maiblg this important decision. so the question now will be when the president does send up this nominee, which he said he will be doing in due time, what does the senate do, that judiciary committee, which is, of course, controlled by republicans? already you've seen them signal they that will be moving to oppose president obama's nominee before, of course, they know who that is going to be, which means the supreme court could go
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go would you want the ninth justice, keep that vacancy, until the next president is put into the white house. there is precedent for the court being with a court of eight justices. when president reagan, for example, nominated robert bork back in 1987, the seat to replace justice louis powell went unfilled for seven months. democrats, of course, blocked the nomination of robert bork. the president's next nominee had to withdraw. then he finally was able to get justice anthony kennedy confirmed, his third try. but that took about seven months to do that. you're going to hear republicans kind of looking back and talking about that there is precedent for this with something so important. and keep in mind, for republicans, this is the crucial fifth vote. the court is now composed of really five conservatives, or was composed of five conservatives and four liberals. and now with justice scalia's passing, that is 4-4, the court is in the balance. and,sh, justice scalia not
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fifth vote but he was that sharp conservative voice, court. so i think it's going to be very difficult to see republicans agreeing with anyone that this president puts up, and of, of course, he's complained that republicans are obstructionist. as i was saying before his remarks started, i don't yet. this is the battle, republicans are ready to dig in for this battle. they see it as affecting nothing less than the future of america. i mean, the supreme court is a president's most lasting legacy. long after the president is out of the white house, those justices are on that supreme court deciding cases that have enormous impact on everyday life, whether it's at work, or in your personal relationships, just this term, for example, they've got cases on affirmative action, on abortion, on labor unions, on the future of the president's health care law. that's back up at the court this year. so every year these justices deciding these crucial questions.
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think republicans what we've seen so far are united that they're going to dig their heels in on this one. and point back to when democrats have done the same thing. >> axelrod: and in terms of setting the landscape as we're assessing this, some important numbers here. remember it takes three-fifths of the senate to confirm. right now there are 54 republican senators, so democrats would have to peel off 14 of those. if the republicans stay united it really appears as though president obama's nominee would have quite the uphill climb. >> reporter: and this, of course, raising the question, and the white house already has nominees that they've been looking at in case eye mean, all white house-- every president would do this, every administration. they would have potential nominees ready to go in the event of some kind of surprise retirement or in this case a death. so they will be looking now for the nominee that would be most amenable to republicans in the senate, probably a moderate republican, perhaps a
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is already vetted, or even, perhaps, a member of the united states senate. that's someone that people could see maybe making it harder for republicans to oppose, and some of those senators, awe know, are lawyers. jaert amy klobashar is mentioned as somebody who might be a supreme court nominee. jim, what you talk about unprecedented fights, this in washington now, it's the backdrop of a presidential campaign, the battle i think that we're about to see over the replacement for this towering conservative giant is really something that none of us has seen. >> axelrod: so, jan, he was very fond of saying he didn't care about his legacy. but now it's time to assess the legacy. so from where you're sitting, when you think about cases that justice scalia ruled on, such as "bush v. gore" in 2000, how do you assess his legacy? and what are the most
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will remember about justice scalia? >> reporter: i think his biggest contribution soamerican law is his conservative voice. justice scalia changed the way that people and conservatives look at the constitution, the way they interpret the constitution. you know, he wrote a lot of dints, and he was often alone in his-- even his opinions-- he may have other conservatives who agreed with the outcome, but they didn't always agree with what he wanted to do to get there. you don't see scalia's name on a lot of the big landmark decisions because he could never get four other justices to go along with him. obviously there was the big second amendment case when he held that the second amendment held an individual's right to bear arms. but his greatest impact on the law and on this court is sticking to conservative principles on how to interpret the constitution. he began talking about this as a law professor and in his writings, as a federal appeals court janet j. and then on that supreme
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conservative jurisprudence of visionallism. when you look at the text of the constitution and what the framers were doing when they were writing that document. he would always say, twasn't up to judges, unelected judges to go back and try to rewrite what those framers wrote." he would often talk about the constitution as a dead document, that unelected judges should not be able to reinvent or invent new right that weren't in what that document and those amendments to that constitution said, that those were jobs for the legislature, because if the voters don't like it, they can vote them out. so he was really kind of this great proponent of judicial restraint and kind of keeping judges in their lane and keeping the legislators in their lane. and that, i think, is his greatest contribution. really, his development of conservative jurisprudence which kind of ripples across all of the legal landscape. >> axelrod: jan, we have just about a minute left.
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intellectual underpinnings. but you're going to tell us now a little bit more about what kind of guy he was, what kind of man he was. because you knew him quite well. we're hearing about how justice ginsburg and kagan, while they were intellectually at the opposite end of the-- the polar extreme from justice scalia, that they cared about him and thought-- they thought a lot of him as a man. what you can tell bus what kind of guy he was? >> reporter: well, this is the great kind of contradiction of justice scalia. you see him in his writings, and you would hear about what he would say on the bench and in his speeches and he sounded so combative, but actually, in his personal relationships he was beloved on that supreme court. and he would say,y" may argue with the position and hate the position the person is taking, but i don't hate the person." so he developed an incredibly close relationship with justice ruth bader ginsburg, who is probably the court's staunchest liberal. they would celebrate new year's eve together their spouses. they would go on trips together.
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fond of one another, and also justice kagan, good friend with her. >> axelrod: judge antonin scalia dead tonight at the age of 79. justice scalia's death is expected to change the tone of tonight's republican debate in south carolina. cbs news is hosting the debate. that will begin moments from now at nine. eastern. that's 8:00 central and 6:00 p.m. in the west. president obama just a few minutes ago calling justice scalia a remarkable man and praising his service as a jurist and as a legal scholar. for now, i'm jim axelrod, cbs news, in new york. we're going to join the debate in south carolina, on the west coast, regular
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thank you. we don't make good deals anymore. >> my philosophy on radical islamic terrorism is very simple-- we win, they lose. >> the world is a better place, it's a safer place when we are the strongest military in the world. >> i believe we have an obliexwaigz to help people who live in the shadows. >> we were fiscally responsible. we took leadership positions. we're innovative. >> we must restore our place as the leader and indispensable power of the free world. >> we are going to make america great again. >> tonight, live from the peace center in greenville, south carolina, cbs news brings you the republican presidential debate. ( applause ) >> moderator: good evening, i'm john dickerson. this holiday weekend as america honors our first president, we're about to hear from six men who hope to be the 45th.


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