President Barack Obama on Saturday night spoke warmly of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and promised that he would move to nominate a replacement in due time.
“I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time,” Obama said. “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.”
Obama went on to say that those responsibilities were also “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 spoke just hours after Scalia was found dead and Republican leaders in the Senate began to call on colleagues to not confirm Scalia’s successor until a new President was elected.
Obama called Scalia “a larger than life presence on the bench” who devoted his life to public service.