Breaking News Emails
President Obama has made up his mind.
The president will announce his nominee to the Supreme Court at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, just over a month after the death of conservative jurist Antonin Scalia left a vacancy on the bench.
"I've devoted a considerable amount of time and deliberation to this decision," Obama said in a statement. "I've consulted with legal experts and people across the political spectrum, both inside and outside government. And we’ve reached out to every member of the Senate, who each have a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination just as seriously."
"This is a responsibility I do not take lightly," the president added, echoing a similar statement he made in a February blog post in which he laid out his requirements for a nominee.
Republicans, who control the Senate, have pledged to block any Supreme Court nomination by Obama until after the general election in November. The White House has said it will press forward with the Senate confirmation process.
"In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I’m doing my job," Obama said Wednesday. "I hope that our Senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. That is what the Constitution dictates, and that’s what the American people expect and deserve from their leaders."
A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found a plurality of American voters (48 percent) prefer the Senate vote this year on a replacement for Scalia. A majority (55 percent) said they would disapprove of the Senate not considering Obama's nominee.
Scalia, who died Feb. 13, was one of the key right-leaning voices on the court; with his death, the court is split 4-4 between liberals and conservatives. Obama's nominee could tilt the court to the left for the first time in decades.
Court observers have floated several possible names for the nomination. The short list includes federal appeals court judges Sri Srinivasan and Merrick Garland.