AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - When will the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia be replaced? That has been a bigger question than who will replace him.
WALB spoke with Georgia's senior US Senator Johnny Isakson who said that the next president should be the one to appoint Scalia's replacement.
Isakson addressed a packed house at Georgia Southwestern Tuesday.
The senator spoke on several topics including ISIS, healthcare and the VA.
But his first comments centered around the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
"I think it's a terrible loss for the country at a very unfortunate time in our country's history," said Senator Isakson.
The long serving justice was known for his strong conservative stance and strict interpretation of the Constitution. He was a reliable conservative vote on a divided court that often hands down 5 to 4 rulings.
"Scalia's death is tragic and certainly unexpected," said Isakson.
The focus immediately shifted to Scalia's replacement.
Democrats say the Constitution is clear, President Obama should nominate a replacement and the senate should take a confirmation vote.
Republicans almost universally, have said the new president should appoint the new justice, leaving a vacancy for more than a year.
"If the president of the United States today was a republican, and the majority of the senate was democrats, the democrats would have our position and we'd have theirs. This is about as patently an understandable situation," explained Isakson.
Isakson doesn't expect the president to make his appointment during this recess, but encourages Americans to show up at the polls in November.
"There's never been a more important election in the history of the United States. Everybody within ear shot of my voice and yours should be voting this November because the future of our country is at stake," said Isakson.
There are currently 54 republicans in the senate.
Two thirds of the senate must approve the president's nomination.