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McConnell: Don’t replace Scalia until after election

Mitch McConnell

By Harper Neidig – 02/13/16 06:27 PM EST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should not be replaced until after the presidential election.

Because McConnell sets the Senate schedule, and the upper chamber confirms Supreme Court nominations, his remarks signal the GOP’s intent to not confirm any nominee offered by President Obama.

“The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

Democrats have already called on the Senate to take a vote on a nominee replacing Scalia, who died Saturday in Texas.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said it would be “unprecedented” for the Senate to wait until next year to confirm a new justice.

He added that it would be a “shameful abdication” of the Senate’s responsibility.