In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, in honor of Justice Antonin Scalia, a flag in the Supreme Court building's front plaza flies at half-staff in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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Obama has narrowed to five his list of candidates to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13 . Obama's nominee could tip the nine-member court to the left for the first time in decades.Senate Republicans have vowed not to hold confirmation hearings or an up-or-down vote on anyone Obama picks, saying the choice should belong to the next president who takes office in January after the Nov. 8 presidential election.Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, whose panel handles Supreme Court nominations, offered a lengthy defense of the decision by the Senate Republicans not to act on any Obama nominee.Grassley accused Democrats of a "charade" with feigned outrage over the Republican refusal to consider Obama's nominee simply to "score as many political points as possible".Under the U.S. Constitution, the president selects a Supreme Court nominee and the Senate confirms or rejects the nominee.Iowa's Tom Miller, a Democrat, was among a group of attorneys general from 19 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico who sent a letter to Grassley and other Senate leaders urging them to act promptly on Obama's nominee.
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