Ted Cruz releases Supreme Court ad after Justice Antonin Scalia's death

Story highlights

  • The ad, released to supporters Sunday night, does not mention Scalia's death announced Saturday
  • The spot mainly focuses on the front-runner in the race: Donald Trump

Washington (CNN)Sen. Ted Cruz is out with a new ad highlighting the importance of the Supreme Court in the presidential race just days after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The ad, released to supporters Sunday night, does not mention Scalia's death, announced Saturday. The ad is about the importance of Supreme Court nominations more generally. The Cruz campaign did not immediately respond to a question about when the ad was cut.
The spot will air in South Carolina, which holds its Republican primary Saturday, and mainly focuses on the front-runner in the race: Donald Trump.
    "Life, marriage, religious liberty, the Second Amendment. We're just one Supreme Court justice away from losing them all," the narrator says over an image of the court building.
    It then cuts to file footage of Trump on "Meet the Press" in 1999, asked by the late host Tim Russert if he would ban partial-birth abortions.
    "Well look, I'm very pro-choice," Trump answers. "I am pro-choice in every respect."
    Trump has said he has changed his mind and is now anti-abortion as he runs for the GOP presidential nomination.
    Even before the death of the longest-serving justice, who was a conservative icon and the intellectual firepower behind conservatives on the bench, candidates for president have been talking about the importance of the court on the trail.
    It was already likely the next president would name one justice or more to the court for a lifetime appointment, and both Democrats and Republicans have stumped on how that could reshape the make-up of the court.
    Scalia's death has only intensified that existing debate -- especially as Republicans say the Senate should not vote on a nominee from President Barack Obama and instead wait for the next president.