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GOP senator: Obama should replace Scalia

Posted: 3:13 PM, Feb 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-17 21:13:13Z

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nevada Sen. Dean Heller has become the first Republican senator to break with his party's leader and say President Barack Obama should nominate a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Heller said Wednesday that Nevadans "should have a voice" in selecting a new justice.

Just hours after Scalia's death Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Obama should not name a nominee and leave that for whoever is elected president in November. Numerous GOP senators have backed McConnell on that, though some have not ruled out hearings and a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Heller said he doesn't expect an Obama nominee to be approved by the GOP-run Senate.

Politically, Nevada is a closely divided state. Heller has at times taken moderate stances on issues.