Obama expected to announce Supreme Court nominee next week

In this photo taken De. 18, 2015, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room at the White House in Washington. On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, the president signed emergency declaration and ordered federal aid for Flint, Mich., authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Homeland Security Department to coordinate relief efforts. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

 WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) A White House spokesman said we can expect to learn who President Obama will nominate to fill Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

The U.S. Senate will return to Capitol Hill on Feb. 22nd.

Republicans in the Senate have made it clear they would rather wait to consider a new nominee until the next president takes office. Such a choice leaves a vacancy on the court for at least 10 to 11 months.

“It is not normal to wait that long at all, but’s also not normal to have a 79-year-old justice die suddenly in an election year,” said National Law Journal reporter Mike Sacks.

Sacks could not think of a time in recent history when the Senate refused to even consider a nominee.

“If you want to find a position where during an election the Senate decided to take no action until after the election – you’d have to go way back to 1828,” he said.

Presidential candidate and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed he would filibuster any nominee Pres.Obama would put forward.

However, before Cruz would get his chance, the nominee must be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the committee’s chairman.

Grassley is on the record saying he does not want to consider any candidates until after the election.

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