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Ted Cruz and other conservatives are arguing Obama shouldn't get to replace Justice Scalia

Within minutes of the confirmation of the news that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, influential conservatives were laying down the notion that President Obama shouldn't be allowed to nominate a replacement.

Presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz led the charge:

Conn Carroll, communications director for Utah Republican Mike Lee, who sits on the judiciary committee, joined the parade:

Conservative pundits like National Review's Charles Cooke agreed:

The dynamics of the presidential race make it likely that the other Republican contenders will have to follow Cruz's lead, and with the GOP presidential field unanimously opposed to allowing Obama to fill the vacancy it will be difficult for Senate Republicans to defy them. The small number of Republicans representing blue states may break from the pack, but pressure on the leadership to block confirmation will be intense.

As a precedent on the other side, Justice Kennedy was confirmed in February 1988 — Ronald Reagan's last year in office — though he'd been appointed the previous fall.

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