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McConnell: Don't replace Scalia until after election

McConnell: Don't replace Scalia until after election
© Cameron Lancaster

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate approves two energy regulators, completing panel On The Money: Biden announces key members of economic team | GOP open to Yellen as Treasury secretary, opposed to budget pick | GAO: Labor Department 'improperly presented' jobless data Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary MORE (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. 

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“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 ReidHarry Mason ReidFeinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee Bottom line MORE (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.

Here is McConnell's full statement: 

"Today our country lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as Americans.

"Justice Scalia's fidelity to the Constitution was rivaled only by the love of his family: his wife Maureen his nine children, and his many grandchildren. Through the sheer force of his intellect and his legendary wit, this giant of American jurisprudence almost singlehandedly revived an approach to constitutional interpretation that prioritized the text and original meaning‎ of the Constitution.

"Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Scalia family.

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