US President Donald Trump has said he will name his nominee for Supreme Court justice by the end of the week, and urged the Republican-controlled Senate to confirm his choice before the presidential election.
The plan has launched a high-stakes battle ahead of the 3 November vote.
Mr. Trump wants to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart who died on Friday aged 87, with a conservative.
This would cement a right-leaning majority on the US’s highest court, where justices serve for life or until they choose to retire.
The ideological balance of the nine-member court is crucial to its rulings on the most important issues in US law, with decisions made in recent years on immigration, carbon emissions and gay marriage.
Democrats have criticised Mr Trump’s plan, with presidential candidate Joe Biden dubbing it an “abuse of power”. ENDS