GOP senator: Obama's SCOTUS nominee must be a 'consensus' choice
© C-SPAN

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE says he will not support a new Supreme Court nominee from President Obama unless it is a consensus choice that both parties can agree on.

The South Carolina Republican voted for both of Obama's previous nominees, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. But he said that the 2013 move by Senate Democrats to eliminate filibusters on lower-court appointees has hardened his stance about judicial nominees.

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"You better find a consensus choice — half the Republicans should be able to vote for this person," Graham said on MSNBC.

"I'm not going to let this president abuse power and have no consequences."

Justice Antonin Scalia died on Saturday at the age of 79, creating an opening on the high court in a presidential election year.

Graham did not go as far as other Republican senators, including White House hopefuls Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE (R-Fla.), in calling for the decision about Scalia's successor to be left to the next president.

He said that while he voted for Kagan and Sotomayor because both were well-qualified despite his disagreements with their policies, he would not extend that courtesy to Obama's next appointee. 

Still, Graham, a former White House contender himself, said he would still be open to voting for a well-qualified liberal appointed by a future Democratic president, naming 2016 front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE specifically.