Watch CBS News

Swift social media reaction to Justice Scalia's death

The Supreme Court is scheduled to go back into session a week from Monday
Antonin Scalia dead: How does the Supreme Court move forward? 02:38

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died Saturday from natural causes at the age of 79.

The reaction on social media was swift -- going from surprised to political within about an hour of Justice Scalia's death.

Scalia was one of the most conservative members of the court, nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. Most of his positions were not favored by the liberal community -- he was pro-life, did not support gay marriage, and most recently came under fire for suggesting some black students would benefit by attending less-advanced schools.

While much of the social media chatter on Scalia's death was positive, many on the left took the opportunity to express dislike for Justice Scalia and his positions.

Prominent politicians also politicized Scalia's death soon after the news broke.

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz tweeted that Scalia was "a hero," but then argued that the next president should nominate his replacement -- not President Obama. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow candidate Marco Rubio echoed his sentiment.

"It's a sign of the times and the velocity by which technology has changed the way we interact, and the way we think," said Stacey Schulman, a media analyst with Katz Television Group.

"We're not waiting to simply mark the man's life and achievements, we've jumped all the way to the consequences of [his death] in an election year."

Scalia was also remembered positively by many on the left and right.

Others called for the public to remember, regardless of their political opinions, that Justice Scalia was a husband, father of nine, and a friend.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.