US President Barack Obama says he will nominate a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who died on Saturday as Democratic presidential nominees weigh in. Julie Noce reports.
The sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has set the stage for a major political showdown that could have serious implications on both sides of the aisle. President Barack Obama said he DID plan to nominate a successor for Scalia, who was found dead at a resort in Texas on Saturday, and said that the U.S. Senate should give the nominee careful consideration. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I plan to fulfil my constitutional responsibility to appoint a successor in due time and there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to give that person a fair hearing and timely vote." Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have said they would oppose any attempt by Obama to nominate a new justice and that the decision should be left to the next president. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called the Republicans plan of attack unconstitutional. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE HILLARY CLINTON SAYING: "To hear comments like those of leader Mitch McConnell's this evening is very disappointing. It is totally out of step with our history and our constitutional principles." Waiting for the next president to make a nomination would leave Scalia's seat empty for an unprecedented 11 months. With Republicans now in charge of the Senate and anxious to exert their influence over the process, Obama will be likely forced to pick a moderate with little or no history of advocating for liberal causes.