House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as someone who "did more to advance originalism and judicial restraint than anyone in our time."

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, was among dozens of House lawmakers who reacted to the sudden death of Scalia, who, like both Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, was a practicing Catholic.

"The passing of this brilliant jurist is a great loss, but his writings — with their plain language and constitutional moorings — will guide generations to come," Ryan said. "A devout Catholic, he was fond of quoting St. Paul, who commanded us to 'think soberly.' That Justice Scalia did, always, and our republic is better for it."

In a statement issued Saturday, Pelosi said the conservative-leaning Scalia "made history" as the first Italian-American justice on the High Court.

"Whether or not you agreed with him, Justice Antonin Scalia served our nation with deep patriotism and distinction on the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years," Pelosi, D-Calif., said. "He has been one of the strongest voices in the great American debate around our Constitution. He leaves behind a formidable record of jurisprudence and a fierce articulation of his understanding of the Constitution."