Republican Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says President Obama should nominate a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
In a Chicago Sun-Times column posted Monday, Kirk says the constitution gives the president -- Republican or Democrat -- the right to send a nominee to the Senate. He says he swore an oath to uphold the constitution, "not to a party or any one individual.''
Kirk says Obama should select someone "who can bridge differences.''
Kirk's position differs from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans, who say the next president should choose Scalia's successor.
It also comes as Kirk is facing a difficult re-election bid. The Democrats vying for a chance to unseat him say Obama should fill the vacancy and called on Kirk to take a definitive position.