THE HILL — Hillary Clinton is assailing Republicans for arguing that the Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia should remain vacant until a new president is elected.
Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the White House, said the Senate has a responsibility to consider a nominee from President Obama.
“The Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail who are calling for Justice Scalia’s seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution,” the former secretary of State said in a statement.
“The Senate has a constitutional responsibility here that it cannot abdicate for partisan political reasons.”
Scalia, 79, was found dead on Saturday at a hunting ranch in Texas. He was among the most reliably conservative votes on the Supreme Court, which has for years has seen decisions fall along 5-4 lines, with the five justices chosen by Republican presidents often voting together.
GOP presidential candidates on Saturday quickly said the upper chamber, which confirms nominees to the high court, should not allow Obama to fill the seat during his final year in office.
“Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, and the nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next president names his replacement,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in a tweet.
“The next president must nominate a justice who will continue Justice Scalia’s unwavering belief in the founding principles that we hold dear,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said.