Dem: Obama should pick a moderate SCOTUS nominee
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Democrats scramble to rein in Trump's Iran war powers MORE (D-Del.) is urging President Obama to name a centrist to the Supreme Court, suggesting the White House should avoid nominating an "ideologue." 

"I think the president absolutely should nominate the most qualified, the most confirmable, the most centrist candidate possible," Coons said Tuesday. "I do not think that President Obama should seek to replace [Justice Antonin Scalia] with a comparably progressive nominee."
 
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Since Scalia's death on Feb. 13, Washington has been debating what sort of justice Obama should name: a more centrist judge previously confirmed by the Senate, which could make it harder for Republicans to block the nominee, or a more progressive nominee who could rally Democrats ahead of the fall elections. 
 
Coons, who said he has spoken to the White House, added that the president should stay away from nominating an overly partisan person and pick someone whose "moderation and experience and inclinations would commend them to any Senate."
 
Coons, a member of the Judiciary Committee, suggested he was going to reach out to rank-and-file Republicans about having a "constructive conversation" on how to avoid a partisan fight over the Supreme Court. 
 
While Republicans have largely rallied around Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' Romney pledges 'open mind' ahead of impeachment trial McConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial MORE's (R-Ky.) call for Obama to leave the decision to the next president, a few GOP senators — including Mark KirkMark Steven KirkWhy Republicans are afraid to call a key witness in the impeachment inquiry Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR Bottom Line MORE (Ill.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial GOP can beat Democrats after impeachment — but it needs to do this one thing Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (Maine) — have said the upper chamber should have a hearing on Obama's nominee.