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Obama may tap past Senate-OK’d candidate to replace Scalia to pressure GOP: Clinton

AP

Hillary Clinton predicted Monday that President Barack Obama will nominate someone who’s already been confirmed by the Senate to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Democratic candidate for president said that potentially would increase pressure on Republicans to consider Obama’s choice for the high court.

“I’m hoping that we will get somebody nominated that will get people saying, ‘Hey, the only reason you’re blocking this is pure partisanship, so do your duty,'” Clinton said.

Some judges now serving on the federal appeals courts “were confirmed 99-0” by the Senate, she said.

“I think the president is going to look for somebody who has the record that is going to be hard for the Republicans to be against,” Clinton said. “Somebody who is a sensible person with a good record, and maybe somebody who’s already been confirmed by the Senate.”

In the wake of Scalia’s death on Saturday, Republican senators and several Republican presidential candidates have said Obama should not seek to replace the revered conservative jurist during the final 11 months of his term. Instead, they argue, that choice should be left to the winner of November’s presidential election.

Obama has said he will make a nomination, and Clinton and her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have both expressed outrage at the potential of a Republican-led Senate refusing to consider it.

“You talk about the Constitution a whole lot. Well, how about obeying the Constitution and start holding hearings when President Obama nominates the next Supreme Court justice,” Sanders said Monday at a rally in Ypsilanti, Michigan. “Talk about cowardice, talk about obstructionism.”

Clinton visited Elko as she battles to win Nevada’s Democratic caucuses on Feb. 20, a race viewed as tightening as Sanders battles to expand his support among Nevada’s multiethnic communities.

Clinton headed from Elko to Reno for other campaign events, while Sanders campaigned Monday in Michigan. There, he met privately with families dealing with the water crisis in Flint — which he called one of the more difficult meetings he ever had.

“It is beyond my comprehension in the year 2016 in the United States of America we are poisoning our children,” he said.

Flint’s water became tainted when the city began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. State regulators failed to ensure that the water was properly treated, and lead from aging pipes leached into the water supply. Clinton visited the city earlier this month and touted on Monday the endorsement of several faith leaders from the city.