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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (WKBN) – President Barack Obama said he intends to submit a nomination for the Supreme Court this year, and he said there is “more than enough time” for the Senate to consider it.
The president says he intends to nominate someone who is “indisputably qualified” for the seat that was held by late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
He said those who say he should leave the nomination to the next president are reading something into the Constitution that isn’t there.
“Historically, this has not been viewed as a question. There’s no unwritten law that says it can only been done on off-years,” he said.
Scalia died at the age of 79 over the weekend while on a hunting trip in Texas. Scalia’s death has left many questions, as there are eight remaining justices without the conservative judge and no real majority.
When questioned by reporters about the process of replacing Scalia, Obama expressed his frustrations of the political process.
“This is the Supreme Court – the highest court in the land. It’s the court where we would expect elected officials to rise above day-to-day politics. And this would be the opportunity for senators to do their job,” he said.
Obama made the remarks Tuesday during a California news conference at the conclusion of his summit meetings with leaders of Southeast Asian nations in Rancho Mirage, California.
Obama would not say whether his pick would be a moderate, only stating that the candidate he chooses will be an “outstanding legal mind,” who “cares deeply about our legal system” and serves with honor and integrity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.