Justice Alito Rallies Conservatives in Tribute to Scalia

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued a rallying cry to conservatives in the wake of newfound strength following Donald Trump’s election.

Alito told a conference of conservative lawyers, judges and legal thinkers that religious freedom and gun rights are among the important issues at stake in the federal courts.

Alito also paid tribute to longtime colleague Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February. The two conservative justices were allies in high court battles on hot-button social and political issues.

Alito said at the Federalist Society’s national lawyers’ conference in Washington that Scalia is sorely missed on the court and that “we are left to ask ourselves WWSD” — what would Scalia do.

Trump will nominate Scalia’s successor. Senate Republicans blocked action on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.