THE WHITE HOUSE
What you need to know about the Supreme Court vacancy:With the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, there is now a vacancy that must be filled on the Supreme Court -- and President Obama has a Constitutional responsibility to nominate someone to take his place.
The Supreme Court is a vital institution of American democracy and, since the founding of our country, the President of the United States has had the responsibility to appoint a Justice to the Supreme Court every time -- and any time -- there is a vacancy on the bench. It then falls to the United States Senate to confirm that nominee before he or she can take her seat on our nation's highest court.
As President Obama said, "The Constitution is pretty clear about what's supposed to happen now." Watch his remarks:
The confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice is a solemn responsibility that the President and the Senate share under the U.S. Constitution. It is not a political opportunity that reflects "left" or "right," Democrat or Republican. It's a serious obligation to make sure that an indisputably qualified person of integrity is nominated and confirmed to sit on the highest court in the land.
The President plans to offer his nominee for the Supreme Court to the Senate -- and the Senate has more than enough time to confirm that nominee.
Here are the facts: