President Barack Obama has said he intends to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court bench “in due time”.
Obama made the announcement within hours of the announcement of Justice Scalia’s death, aged 79.
The Justice died while on a hunting trip, and is believed to have died in his sleep.
The President announced that he would replace the “brilliant legal mind” at some point, and it is expected he will nominate a liberal-leaning candidate.
However, the Senate may make it difficult for him to do so.
Describing the Justice as “larger than life”, and “a remarkable man”, Obama said: “I plan to fulfil my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time.
“There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfil its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”
Ater the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right last year, the justice penned a scathing and often bizarre dissent attacking the decision and his colleagues.
Scalia wrote that he would rather “hide my head in a bag” than support the opinion, comparing it to “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie”.
Speaking to law students at Georgetown University in November, he confessed his eccentric and verbose dissenting opinions were often written to be ‘fun’.
Speaking about same-sex marriage, he questioned where the Constitution draws the line – asking why protections for gay people were included but not child molesters.
He said: “What minorities deserve protection? What, it’s up to me to identify deserving minorities?
“What about pederasts? What about child abusers?”
He joked: “This is a deserving minority… Nobody loves them!”
Watch Obama’s announcement below:
President Obama on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Posted by The White House on Saturday, February 13, 2016