With the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at 79, the process will soon begin to replace the conservative Reagan appointee. The President and the U.S. Senate share the responsibility of appointing nominees.
President Obama has successfully appointed two justices to the supreme court since taking office, Justice Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Justice Elena Kagan in 2010. He may choose to appoint one more before he leaves office in 2017, though whosoever he chooses will likely face a tough test in the Republican-controlled Senate. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell says the Supreme Court vacancy left by Scalia should not be filled until there is a new president, according to the Associated Press.