Fight brewing over Scalia successor

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The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is triggering battles in Washington over his successor. (KABC)

Only days after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the fight over his successor is in full swing.

Scalia died on Saturday of natural causes at age 79 at a residence in West Texas.

One of the names already being floated by legal and political experts as a potential successor is Sri Srinivasan, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in the District of Columbia Circuit. His nomination to that post by Obama was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2013.

Possible candidates from California include state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Paul Watford, a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2012.

Senate Republicans are vowing to block any candidate put forth by President Obama, saying it should be up to the next president to fill the vacancy.

In the meantime, the death of the conservative Scalia, who served on the court since 1986, leaves the court in an ideological 4-4 split.

That means fewer lower-court decisions are likely to be overturned while the vacancy stands, said Los Angeles attorney Brian Kabateck, who is chairman of the board of directors at Loyola Law School.

"If there is a tie then the tie goes to the lower court," Kabateck said. "That means whatever the decision was in the lower court will stand."

Related Topics:
politicsu.s. supreme courtpresident barack obamapoliticsLos AngelesWashington D.C.
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