President Barack Obama reiterated Tuesday his plans to nominate a successor to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in "due time," taking swipes at Republican lawmakers who have argued that he should not name the judge during his final year in office.
Scalia, who was 79, was found dead in Texas on Saturday, leaving a vacancy on the top U.S. court. Obama's nominee to replace him could potentially tip the court's ideological balance to the left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, has said the vacancy "should not be filled until we have a new president." The Senate is responsible for confirming the president's judicial appointments.
"The Constitution is pretty clear about what's supposed to happen now. When there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the president of the United States is to nominate someone. The Senate is to consider that nomination," Obama said from a news conference following a summit with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rancho Mirage, California.
"Historically, this has not been viewed as a question."