Shelby to ‘adamantly oppose’ Obama filling Scalia vacancy

By Howard Koplowitz

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Saturday he believes the decision to nominate a successor to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should not be taken by President Barack Obama, vowing to “adamantly oppose” an effort by Obama to fill the conservative justice’s vacancy on the court.

“This great loss brings on a great responsibility for the United States Senate. Justice Scalia’s replacement should be considered carefully and thoughtfully because it is vital to our nation’s future that we confirm a justice who will continue his legacy,” Shelby said in a statement following Scalia’s death Saturday at age 79. “I will adamantly oppose any attempt by President Obama to fill this vacancy during the remainder of his term.”

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who will play a vital role in Scalia’s successor as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, could not immediately be reached for comment on whether he shares Shelby’s view, but he later told CNN that he thinks the vacancy should be filled by the next president.

“I think it’s too late to nominate someone now,” Sessions said. “The situation is so intense with the divided court. I think the proper thing to do is to let the presidential election go forward and let the next president nominate” a new justice.

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