News Local/State

Kirk ‘Looks Forward’ To Obama Nominating Scalia Replacement

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk on June 9, 2014

In this June 9, 2014 file photo, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., speaks in his office in Chicago. Kirk is making national security a prime focus of his bid for a second term. M. Spencer Green/Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has broken with fellow Republicans by saying he "looks forward'' to President Barack Obama nominating a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  

In a Chicago Sun-Times column posted Monday, Kirk says the constitution gives the president  - Republican or Democrat  - the right to send a nominee to the Senate. He says he swore an oath to uphold the constitution, "not to a party or any one individual.''
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans say the next president should choose Scalia's successor. Kirk's statements come as he's facing a difficult re-election bid.   
The Democrats vying to unseat him say Obama should fill the vacancy and called on Kirk to take a definitive position.
Kirk says Obama should select someone "who can bridge differences.''