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Ohio in the middle of the fight to replace Scalia

WSYX/WTTE

President Barack Obama plans to nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia next week but the process is igniting a political firestorm with Republicans who want to make the decision themselves.

The Constitution calls for the president to appoint a new justice. Ohio Democrats want President Obama to fill the seat soon but Republicans want to wait until next year when there's a new president.

"I can't imagine a president of any political stripe at any time not wanting to nominate his or her choice for the Supreme Court," said Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State. "The Obama administration is going to move as quickly as they can to find a nominee. Secondly, the Republicans will move as slowly as they can to confirm a nominee."

Those who follow the actions of the Supreme Court said replacing Scalia will be a tall task.

"He's an incredible writer with a lot of sarcasm and wit," said Chris Walker, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2008 and 2009. "To lose someone like that is a huge loss at least intellectually on the court."

Senator Rob Portman, R - Ohio, said he didn't want to vote on a new justice this year during an event in Worthington Monday morning.

"There's a really vigorous debate going on right now in the country about the direction of the country<" Portman said. "This seat is about the direction of the country."

There will be plenty of political games to replace Scalia, but court observers said they will miss someone who famously used terms like "applesauce" and "jiggery pokery" in his opinions.

"While some people are quite thrilled that the court is now going to likely tilt more to the left than before, you do see people showing respect for him as a public servant and the legal mind he had on the court," Walker said.

Scalia's best friend on the Supreme Court was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most liberal justices. She issued a statement mourning the loss of her friend saying his dissents were often better than what she wrote.

"Justice Scalia nailed all the weak spots-the 'applesauce' and 'argle bargle'-and gave me just what I needed to strengthen the majority opinion," Ginsberg said.

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