Obama scolds Senate Republicans for Supreme Court threat

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the close of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit at Sunnylands in Rancho MirageBy Jeff Mason RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed to pick an indisputably qualified nominee for the Supreme Court and chided Republicans who control the U.S. Senate for threatening to block him from filling the pivotal vacancy. Obama told senators he has a constitutional duty to nominate a new justice after Saturday’s death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and reminded them of their constitutional obligation to “do their job” and vote to approve or reject his nominee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the seat on the nation’s highest court should remain vacant until Obama’s successor takes office in January so voters can have a say on the selection when they cast ballots in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

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