Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Tuesday she's not expecting a U.S. Supreme Court appointment but does intend to be a loud voice defending President Obama's prerogative to fill the vacancy.
"I think I have an obligation and a duty over the next months to make a case that the country can't leave this position vacant for over a year," Klobuchar told the Star Tribune. Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which vets Supreme Court nominees.
The unexpected death on Saturday of Justice Antonin Scalia has scrambled national politics. If Obama were to get his pick on the high court, it would mean five of its justices -- a majority -- would be Democratic nominees.
Obama intends to announce a nominee soon, but leading Republicans say the next president should make the pick. Klobuchar said there's no good reason to wait that long.
"At some point you have an obligation to our democracy and our history," Klobuchar said. "The good thing for our democracy is not to hold open a Supreme Court seat for a year for political reasons."
Klobuchar, an attorney and former prosecutor, has appeared on some lists of Supreme Court prospects. She said Tuesday she's satisfied with her current job and views her Judiciary Committee assignment as important in helping shepherd Obama's nominee.
"There's only a few of who are charged with getting a nominee through the Senate," she said.