President Barack Obama has urged the US Senate to act after he nominates a replacement on the Supreme Court for Justice Antonin Scalia.
“I expect them to do their job”, he said, and consider the candidate as required by the US Constitution.
Scalia, a long-time conservative on the court, died on Saturday.
Within hours leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate had said they would delay confirming any nomination until a new president is in power next year.
The Constitution is clear about what happens now, said Mr Obama, and now would be a good time to rise above Washington “rancour” and “venom”.