Watch: Obama Rejects GOP Demands, Pledges to Appoint Scalia’s Replacement

“There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility.”


Defying demands from leading Republicans, President Barack Obama pledged Saturday evening to nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Calling Scalia a “larger than life presence on the bench” and “one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the Supreme Court,” Obama told the nation that “today is a time to remember Justice Scalia’s legacy.”

“I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time,” added Obama. “There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone. They’re bigger than any one party. They are about our democracy. They’re about the institution to which Justice Scalia dedicated his professional life, and making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our founders envisioned.”

Obama’s comments were a thinly veiled rejection of calls by conservative activists and GOP politicians—including presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell (Ky.)—to leave Scalia’s seat vacant until a new president takes office next year.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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