Battle lines are already being drawn after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the high court vacancy should not be filled until the next president is sworn in.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid fired back, saying a failure to fill the vacancy would be a "shameful abdication of one of the Senate's most essential Constitutional responsibilities." President Obama is expected to nominate a replacement for Scalia but it may go nowhere in the Republican-led Senate. Obama is in his final year in office.
Scalia was part of a five-justice conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Failure to confirm a replacement could put the high court into a prolonged stalemate. The 79-year old Scalia was found dead at a resort in West Texas. Scalia was the longest serving justice on the Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
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