Kirk 'looks forward' to Obama nominating Scalia replacement

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has broken with fellow Republicans by saying he "looks forward" to President Barack Obama nominating 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."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans say the next president should choose Scalia's successor.

Kirk's statements come as he's facing a difficult re-election bid.

The Democrats vying to unseat him say Obama should fill the vacancy and called on Kirk to take a definitive position.

Kirk says Obama should select someone "who can bridge differences."