Around the South for Feb. 17: TX, TN & VA

Texas: Abbott eulogizes Scalia. “His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans,” Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said in a statement in response to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. “We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor … will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law.” ……. Tennessee: Haslam won’t contribute to defeat foes. Gov. Bill Haslam (R), “one of the country’s richest politicians,” says the Chattanooga Times Free Press, will not spend money from his fortune to help replace some of the legislators who, despite being Republicans, have opposed the governor on such issues as Medicaid expansion and highway funds. “[T]hat’s not the appropriate role for the governor,” said Haslam ……. Virginia: Kaine speaks about black history. US Sen. Tim Kaine (D) keynoted a Black History Month event at the Second New Hope Baptist Church in Spotsylvania, reported the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star. Noting  that federal civil rights laws were passed in the 1960s, he added, “But that guarantee of legal equality, awful late in the 400-year history, hasn’t translated into equality in the social sphere, hasn’t translated into equality in the income sphere… We’re not going to now say we’ve been equal for 50 years so everything is even-steven.” …….